AFRICA/ETHIOPIA - Humanitarian aid to Tigray suspended, more than 500 schools remain closed

Wednesday, 10 May 2023

Adigrat (Agenzia Fides) - Students in the northern region of Ethiopia have been unable to attend school regularly for three years. Specifically in the western, southern and northeastern parts of Tigray remain closed because the areas are still under occupation by Eritrean and Amhara forces.
85% of schools have suffered partial or total damage as a result of the war. More than 22,500 teachers in the region have not been paid for more than two years. Millions of children have dropped out of school, first because of the coronavirus epidemic and then because of the war. On April 13, Save the Children said some 2.3 million children had not resumed school in northern Ethiopia. Between late April and early May this year, some institutes in the main cities of Tigray were expected to reopen, including among these first nursery schools, kindergartens, followed by primary schools. In addition, given the insufficient resources in the region, the decision has already been made to reduce the number of subjects offered to students. These include teaching the Amharic language, computers, sports, music and art.
The World Food Program has suspended the distribution of humanitarian aid "until further notice" due to the discovery of large-scale theft of relief food and its sale in local markets. For the same reason, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has also suspended aid funding. According to USAID, "the warring parties agreed years ago to steal food through a 'criminal network' created as a result of the ceasefire last November
(see Fides, 3/11/2022).
Although six months have passed since the Pretoria peace agreement between the governments of Tigray and Ethiopia (see Fides, 29/10/2022), the Eritrean and Amhara forces are still in the region and the violence continues. (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 10/5/2023)