The situation in Tigray, and now further afield in Afar and Amhara, is deeply concerning and this is a situation that we are having to communicate about very carefully. In recent weeks UN officials have been detained and UN aid drivers stopped. Earlier this month the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney, shared that Irish nationals and diplomats are to leave the country.
There remains little, if any, communications with our partner based in the Tigray region. However our partners elsewhere in affected regions have reported that they are doing all they can in extremely challenging circumstances, and at great personal risk, to support the displaced.
In Afar communication is much better and we are in regular contact with the Afar Pastoralist Development Association (APDA) who are working in communities which other aid agencies cannot reach. In some communities APDA report that they are now tackling famine conditions. APDA’s team are providing life-saving food, shelter and clean water. They are organising health services to assess malnutrition, particularly in children and pregnant/ nursing mothers, and treating disease in any surviving livestock. Efforts are also being made to transport women who are soon to give birth to stable locations to deliver their babies safely. Sanitary kits are being handed out and our partners are determined to continue educating displaced children.
In Addis and across other regions of Ethiopia communication channels are open as normal and the rest of our partners are able to continue their usual programmes of work.
As we approach the new year we know that the crisis is likely to deepen and Ethiopiaid’s support will be needed more than ever.
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