"There's famine now in slotxo ผ่านเว็บ Tigray." The world's most senior humanitarian official, UN emergency relief coordinator Mark Lowcock, said these frank words on the situation in the northern Ethiopian region on Thursday.
His statement - at a roundtable discussion ahead of the G7 summit - drew on the authoritative assessment of the crisis by the UN-backed Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC).
In a report, it estimated that 353,000 people in Tigray were in phase 5 (catastrophe) and a further 1.769 million are in phase 4 (emergency).
That's a technical way of saying "famine". The IPC didn't use that word because it's so politically sensitive - the Ethiopian government would object.
Cruel way to die
Behind these numbers lies a brutal human tragedy. Huge numbers of deaths by starvation are unavoidable. Indeed, it is already happening.
Tigrayans tell of remote villages where people are found dead in the morning, having perished overnight. Women who were kidnapped by soldiers and held as sexual slaves, cared for in hospitals or safe houses, are tormented by the children from whom they were separated, who may well be starving without their mothers' care.
Starvation is a cruel way to die, as the undernourished body consumes its own organs in order to generate enough energy to keep a flicker of life.
Ploughing in the darkness
At the roundtable, USAid administrator Samantha Power waved away what she called "attempts at obfuscation by the Ethiopian government".
Humanitarian workers are worried that, with the summer rains now falling across Tigray, farmers need to be busy cultivating - and they're not.
A team from the University of Ghent, until last year working on agricultural projects in the region, describes how large areas of farmland are abandoned this year because peasants don't have seeds, oxen to plough, or fertilizers.
Worse, soldiers threaten them: "You won't plough, you won't harvest, and if you try we will punish you."