The humanitarian situation in Tigray is worsening day by day. Millions of children suffer from severe malnutrition, just as many people are starving, including internally displaced persons. Everywhere disease and death, especially children, the elderly, people at high risk due to chronic diseases and Covid-19. The Diocesan Catholic Secretariat of Adigrat (ADCS) thus denounces the worsening of the humanitarian crisis in the Ethiopian region to Fides.
From the beginning of November 2020 until mid-June 2021, the ADCS and the Religious Congregations operating under the Eparchy contributed to saving lives affected by war. However, due to multiple constraints, including security restrictions on movement and access, the cash withdrawal limit, and the shortage of basic supplies in the market, humanitarian aid has been limited to the cities and areas around the main roads. The situation is further aggravated by the blockade of land and air transport.
“Like other humanitarian organizations, we have not been able to continue responding to emergencies, reach people affected by war, and alleviate their suffering”, writes the diocesan director Fr. Abba Abraha Hagos. It is an unprecedented humanitarian crisis, with each passing day, each passing hour, hundreds of innocent victims lose their lives. Since the beginning of the fighting in Tigray, and in particular, since June 28, 2021, to the present day, the ongoing war, accompanied by indiscriminate airstrikes with fighters, helicopters, and drones, has caused an unprecedented crisis. Ethnic-based attacks and massacres of civilians, destruction of homes and displacement of millions of people, rampant gender-based violence, which has destroyed the families and lives of women and girls, the devastation of the economy, institutions, and social infrastructure, destruction of cultural and religious heritages. Millions of people are psychologically destroyed, terrified.
“The entire population has been deprived of all the fundamental rights of every human being: the right to live with dignity, the right to security, education, food, water, to receive humanitarian assistance, etc. The daily reality of the country is of suffering, death, lack of medicines for preventable diseases. Any further delay will end in irreparable disaster for human lives and the social fabric of an entire generation”.
The ADCS highlights that the Catholic diocese of Adigrat, which covers the whole of Tigray, is immersed in an extremely alarming crisis that needs an urgent response from partners, other humanitarian organizations, and the international community.
“We would like to invite all our partners and other humanitarian aid organizations to continue to urge and lobby international communities, the United Nations, humanitarian rights organizations, international government agencies, and international diplomacy, to exert pressure for dialogue policy for peace and for unrestricted access to humanitarian aid, basic services, and supplies, which are a natural right for human beings.