ETHIOPIA: Salesian missionaries respond to food insecurity in Tigray region
Salesians have 14 houses in Ethiopia, including 4 in Tigray
(MissionNewswire) Salesian missionaries have been working to address food shortfalls and other needs in the face of ongoing conflicts in the Tigray region of Ethiopia. With funding recently received, Salesians were able to provide food items including wheat, Famix (multivitamin food), cooking oil, macaroni, rice and salt. Sanitary items, soap and 400 blankets were also sent from May to July.
Ethiopia was already struggling from economic impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing drought. In November 2020, a full-scale war started between the Federal Government of Ethiopia and the Tigray Region. The prolonged war also impacted parts of the Amhara and Afar Regions.
Salesians have 14 houses in Ethiopia, with four in Mekelle, Adigrat, Adwa and Shire in Tigray, and three houses in Eritrea. The region has roughly 7 million inhabitants, all struggling with food insecurity at this time. Salesians report that since the Federal Government left Tigray in June 2021, there are no roads, telephones, internet, banks or electricity. As a result, Salesians have been cut off from normal communication with communities in Tigray.
In addition, supplies are scarce, and those that are available are not affordable because cash is not available. The inflation in the country is very high and prices of basic necessities are out of reach for most. Salesians report that they have been receiving information from Tigray that people have started to die because of a lack of food and medication.
The aid that other Salesian organizations around the globe as well as other humanitarian organizations have provided is much needed and appreciated. Father Abba Hailemariam Medhin, provincial of the AET vice-province, said, “We are really grateful to all of you for your support. This would not become reality if it were not for the ongoing support. We are also very grateful to the World Food Programme who are ready to support us in all we ask. We also thank Catholic Relief Services and others who facilitate fuel and vehicles so the aid can reach destinations.”
Ethiopia is one of the poorest countries in the world with more than 38 percent of its population living in poverty, according to Feed the Future. Close to 85 percent of the country’s workforce is employed in agriculture, but frequent droughts severely affect the agricultural economy leaving more than 12 million people chronically, or at least periodically, food insecure. In addition, more than two-thirds of the population is illiterate.
Photo courtesy of Don Bosco Ethiopia
Salesian Missions – Ethiopia
UNICEF – Ethiopia