UNAIDS welcomes the peace agreement to permanently ‘silence the guns’ and end the conflict in northern Ethiopia. The agreement, facilitated by the African Union as part of its principled position of ‘African solutions to African problems’, was signed by the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Tigray Peoples' Liberation Front on 2 November 2022.
“This is a critical first move that will bring relief and bring hope for the Ethiopian people, particularly the most vulnerable populations including women and children,” said Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of UNAIDS. “This first step will lay the foundations for sustainable peace in the country and facilitate access to life-saving health services, including HIV services, for people affected by the conflict.”
UNAIDS welcomes the Government of Ethiopia’s commitment to “enhance its collaboration with humanitarian agencies to continue expediting aid to all those in need of assistance, to assist all civilians in need, leaving no one behind, and to continue the efforts to restore public services and rebuild the infrastructures of all communities affected by the conflict”.
In 2021 more than 480 000 people living with HIV were on treatment in Ethiopia. Ethiopia was on the right path for a successful response to HIV and was making positive gains towards ending AIDS by 2030, despite some areas still falling behind. However, the conflict has caused major concerns for maintaining and sustaining HIV prevention and treatment efforts in the areas affected by the conflict, putting continued progress on HIV in jeopardy.
Comprehensive access to health care is critical, including HIV prevention, testing, treatment, and care services. UNAIDS appeals to the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, and to international partners supporting the peace process, to include HIV services when implementing the peace plan, especially in “rebuilding infrastructures in affected communities and the economic recovery of the country”.Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).