Ethiopia – A Year of War in the North: 7 million Need Aid

05 November 2021

(ANS - Addis Ababa) - The armed conflict in the Tigray region between the Ethiopian army and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) has turned one year old, amid a profound humanitarian crisis. Bombing in the area in the past two weeks has increased the number of civilian deaths and further isolated the area, where more than 400,000 people are starving. The 17 Salesian missionaries distributed in the four presences in the area - in Macalle, Adigrat, Shire, and Adua - are doing well, even if with little communication with the outside world, and continue to help the population with the few means at their disposal.

"Seven million people need help to survive in the north of the country, in Tigray, Amhara and Afar." This is the desperate cry of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs one year after the start of the fighting. It is estimated that so far, the conflict has caused thousands of deaths, two million internally displaced persons, and more than 100,000 refugees in Sudan.

Acute malnutrition is increasing every day, and not just among children. Almost half of the pregnant and lactating women suffer from acute malnutrition due to the lack of health care because of the large number of destroyed hospitals. According to the UN, the famine generated by the war could kill 100,000 children in the coming months, when three out of four people will not have access to food.

International organizations are also hindered in their work. Most are banned from entering conflict zones; others have seen their members expelled and still others have left the country due to widespread insecurity.

The lack of fuel is another problem for the transport of emergency aid in the Tigray region, and in fact only part of the aid has reached its destination. With the closure of the banks and the lack of money, the population does not have access to basic products for daily consumption.

The Salesians continue to accompany the population and distribute the aid they receive little by little from the country's capital in the midst of a "desperate and critical situation." Overall, they are helping around 8,000 families, paying special attention to mothers and malnourished children. The latest news from the Salesians in Addis Ababa report that their confreres in the conflict areas are doing well, despite the worsening of the situation in recent weeks.

“The need for Food is increasing every day and any help that arrives will save the lives of many starving and malnourished people. We are grateful for the solidarity received from Salesian circles all over the world, with the hope and prayer that peace may finally prevail,” the Sons of Don Bosco affirm.

In a similar scenario, "Misiones Salesianas", the Salesian Mission Office of Madrid, is relaunching its "Ethiopia Emergency" campaign to provide the population with essential aid through Salesian channels.


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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