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Ethiopia Tigray Appeal 2020 n1 Joost Bastmeijer

Northern Ethiopia Emergency Appeal

  • Emergency Appeal

Tens of thousands of people have been forced from their homes in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia and have fled across state and international borders in search of refuge.

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Tigray region ethiopia

Tens of thousands of people have been forced from their homes in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia and have fled across state and international borders in search of refuge.

Give now

Update – July 2021:

Hundreds of thousands of families have been displaced by a brutal conflict between the Ethiopian army and Tigray Liberation Front. Famine and rape have both been used as weapons of war. Recently the Ethiopian government declared a unilateral ceasefire and withdrew its defence forces from Tigray. The Tigray Liberation Front (TPLF) took control of the capital, Mekelle and other cities following the withdrawal. This has led to increasing lawlessness and security concerns and a collapse in social services. Roads have been blocked, transportation, communication and banking services are completely shut down.

Refugee families who are in greatest need of food have been identified by our partners. Food has been purchased and transported towards the areas of greatest need, and is ready to be distributed once it is safe to do so.

Despite the lack of basic services in the area, our partners are working with the UN and Government to ensure that humanitarian organisations can access the region.


Background:

In early November 2020, the people of the Tigray region in northern Ethiopia found themselves caught up in a conflict between federal and regional government forces. Recent reports indicate that more than two million people have had to leave their homes due to the fighting, many seeking safety in other parts of the region, or fleeing to neighbouring Sudan.

Even before the conflict broke out, nearly one million people in this poor region of Ethiopia were reliant on aid. The United Nations has since warned of an increasingly dire humanitarian situation, and highlighting the need for vital assistance like food, clean water and medical care. There have been very concerning reports of attacks by armed forces against civilians and civilian infrastructure, including looting and vandalisation of health centres and schools, as well as cases of sexual and gender-based violence. Efforts to provide help are being hampered by the ongoing hostilities, although humanitarian access is opening up in a limited way.

Early on in this crisis, Tearfund Australia’s partner, the Ethiopian Kale Heywet Church Development Commission, visited border areas south of Tigray and reported displaced families living in schools, empty business premises, temporary shelters and with host community members. Forced to flee Tigray with little or no warning in November last year, they had left behind their homes, possessions and livelihoods. Without money or sources of income, our partner warned them of worsening conditions and that “immediate humanitarian action is needed to address their needs and save their lives”.

Refugees crossing a river to enter into Sudan; © ZOA
Photo: Refugees crossing a river to enter into Sudan; © ZOA

Tearfund's response

Tearfund Australia supported the Ethiopian Kale Heywet Church Development Commission to provide emergency cash grants to 1,455 vulnerable families who were displaced from Tigray into the Amhara region. With this support, families were able to buy food, clothing and other essential items from local markets that were still functioning. Some did not have identification or bank accounts, so EKHCDC worked with the government to help them obtain temporary ID and open bank accounts so that they could receive this support.

July 2021: Refugee families who are in greatest need of food have been identified by our partners. Food has been purchased and is ready to be distributed once it is safe to do so.

As the crisis in Tigray drags on, the situation for millions of people inside Tigray is becoming more and more dire. Tearfund is continuing to talk with local partners about what further support we can provide to enable them to respond to the needs of those impacted by this terrible conflict.

Please give what you can today

Prayer for Ethiopia:

  • Pray for the distribution of food to families and that security would improve
  • Pray for our partner staff as they work on the ground
  • Pray for the local churches in the area, that God would give them strength as they minister to the people in the region and demonstrate the love and compassion of Christ
  • Pray for all those whose lives have been upended by the conflict in Tigray. As they seek safety across borders or in other regions of Ethiopia, may they have access to food, clean water and other essentials
  • Pray for all the leaders seeking to resolve this conflict, that their dialogue would lead to a peaceful outcome, especially for the communities impacted
  • Pray for Tearfund’s local partner, Ethiopian Kale Heywet Church Development Commission, as they continue to provide practical support and encouragement to displaced people within and without Tigray
  • Pray for people who have suffered violence, including sexual violence.
Ethiopia Tigray Appeal 2020 n1 Joost Bastmeijer
Image by Joost Bastmeijer

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Donate Responsibly

During times of humanitarian crises people, especially Australians, feel compelled to give generously. When disasters strike, people often ask Tearfund whether we can accept goods for those who have suffered, and send them to our local partner organisations. While we are always grateful for offers of support and we recognise that people respond from their hearts and out of compassion, sending goods is rarely the best way to support those in need overseas. The website https://donateresponsibly.org/ explains more.

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Integral Alliance

Tearfund Australia responds to partner requests for emergency assistance either directly or through joint efforts with other members of the Integral Alliance, a global alliance of Christian relief and development agencies responding to emergency situations around the world.


Your donation to Tearfund’s ‘Northern Ethiopia Emergency Appeal’ will be used for humanitarian response activities with communities displaced by the conflict in Ethiopia. This appeal closes on 30 September 2021. Excess donations received, or received after this date, will be redirected to other humanitarian response activities. Tearfund complies with Australian Privacy Principles. We will keep you informed about our work and appeals but you can unsubscribe at any time by calling 1800 244 986. ABN 85 085 413 832. View our privacy policy.

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