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Aid workers move bags of yellow lentils that are to be distributed through an aid operation run by USAID, Catholic Relief Services and the Relief Society of Tigray. Photo: Jemal Countess via Getty Images

The UN World Food Programme expects to run out of food in Ethiopia's war-ravaged region on Friday, CNN reports.

Why it matters: Violence in Tigray has led to thousands of deaths, forcing roughly two million people to flee their homes and over five million to rely on emergency food aid. The shortfall will leave "400,000 people on the verge of famine," the agency told CNN.

  • The assessment comes one week after forces from Tigray attacked the neighboring Afar region.
  • It takes 100 trucks per day to reach everyone in need in Tigray, according to WFP Chief David Beasley. Nearly 200 trucks carrying food and other supplies were stuck in Afar earlier this week.
  • Roads between Afar and Tigray were blocked due to security reasons, per CNN. No food trucks have been allowed into Tigray for two weeks.

What they're saying: "Our worst fears about the health and wellbeing of children in that conflicted region of northern Ethiopia are being confirmed," UNICEF spokesperson Marixie Mercado said in a statement to CNN.

  • More than 100,000 children in Tigray could suffer severe life-threatening malnutrition in the next year, UNICEF estimated on Friday. That's a tenfold increase compared to the average annual figure, per CNN.
  • "This malnutrition crisis is taking place amid extensive, systematic damage to the food, health, nutrition, water and sanitation systems and services that children and their families depend on for their survival," Mercado added. "Reversing the nutrition, health, water and food security catastrophe requires a massive scale-up of humanitarian assistance."

The big picture: The Food and Agriculture Organization, UNICEF, WFP warned of the possibility of famine in the region last month.

  • The three UN agencies emphasized the severity of the situation in Tigray, noting that "famine" is only reserved for areas in which at least 20% of households face an extreme lack of food, at least 30% of children suffer from acute malnutrition and two people for every 10,000 die each day due to starvation or malnutrition and disease.

Go deeper

Oct 13, 2021 - Health

FDA releases new guidance to cut down salt in U.S. food

Photo: BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration released new guidance on Wednesday asking makers of "processed, packaged, and prepared foods" to reduce the amount of sodium in their products.

Why it matters: High sodium consumption can lead to more severe cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure. Americans consume "far more sodium than recommended," the FDA says, and the guidance is an effort to get people to cut down on the amount of salt they consume.

The startup that wants to disrupt big internet providers

Maura Losch/Axios

A new startup backed by funding from AOL founder Steve Case and Laurene Powell Jobs wants to break up broadband monopolies across the country.

Why it matters: Internet access has been crucial during the pandemic, but it's not ubiquitous, and it can be both slow and unaffordable in swaths of the country.

1 hour ago - World

Top general: China's hypersonic missile test "very close" to a "Sputnik moment"

Gen. Mark Milley. Photo: Rod Lamkey-Pool/Getty Images

Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, warned Wednesday that China's test of a hypersonic missile is "very concerning" and "very close" to the kind of "Sputnik moment" that triggered the Space Race during the Cold War.

Why it matters: The comments by America's top uniformed general underscore the depths of U.S. concerns about China's rapid military expansion and development of advanced weaponry.