The Ethiopian government said Saturday it is sending the equivalent of more than $90 million to Tigray’s capital as it starts to restore banking services to the war-battered region.
The announcement by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s national security adviser Redwan Hussein came a day after a landmark meeting between government and Tigrayan officials to discuss the status of the peace process.
“As per the decision passed by PM Abiy, National Bank has begun sending five billion Birr to Mekele to be dispensed starting Monday,” Redwan said on Twitter.
Redwan also said that as of Saturday, the national carrier Ethiopian Airlines was increasing its flights to the region to five a day from three.
On Friday, Abiy held his first face-to-face meeting with leaders of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) since a peace deal was agreed in November to end two years of devastating conflict in northern Ethiopia.
Under the terms of the pact, the TPLF agreed to disarm and re-establish the authority of the federal government in return for the restoration of access to Tigray, which was largely cut off from the outside world during the war.
Since the deal, there has been some resumption of aid deliveries to Tigray, which has long faced dire shortages of food, fuel, cash and medicines.
The war that erupted in November 2020 has displaced more than two million people and left millions more in need of humanitarian aid, while the US has put the number of dead at as many as 500,000.