AFRICA/ETHIOPIA - Church delegation visits Tigray: "The humanitarian situation is alarming"

Monday, 25 January 2021 displaced persons   wars   local churches  

Addis Ababa (Agenzia Fides) - "The number of people in need of food, water and medicine is currently tripling compared to the initial planning of the assistance project", said a report by the delegation of the Catholic Church, which visited the Ethiopian province of Tigray, where, on November 4th, the Ethiopian army launched an offensive against the forces of the Tigray Liberation Front (TPLF).
During the visit (January 12-14) the delegation met "the relevant representatives of the interim government to discuss the possibilities of a humanitarian corridor and and interventions".
In Adigrat alone, where the delegation met Bishop Tesfaselassie Medhin, more than 50,000 displaced people are in urgent need of "food, basic non-food items, medicine, water, tents and psychosocial support". There is also a need for teachers, administrative experts and logistical support.
Mgr. Medhin, has repeatedly launched appeals (see Fides 14/12/2020 and 15/1/2021) for an immediate response to the disastrous humanitarian situation "The population, including Eritrean refugees - said Bishop Medhin in one of his appeals, "no longer has food, life-saving medicines, water, etc. They have no access to essential services such as electricity and banks".
News from the region is often incomplete and unavailable while phone and Internet connections are blocked.
In January after aid workers gained limited access this month, it was estimated that 4.5 million of Tigray's 6 million inhabitants are in need of food aid and hundreds of thousands are starving.
The situation of the Eritrean refugees in the Shimelba and Hitsats refugee camps, some of which were set on fire, is also worrying.
Finally, unconfirmed reports of massacres, torture, rape, kidnapping and looting or destruction of centuries-old manuscripts and artifacts are multiplying across the region. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 25/1/2021)