Tigray: Northern Ethiopia’s Humanitarian Catastrophe

In late 2020, intense fighting broke out in the Tigray region in northern Ethiopia, forcing over a million people to flee their homes. Many still live in the region, trying to find shelter where they can, while others have sought refuge in Sudan.

Tigray is now one of the most dangerous places to be a child. An estimated 2.3 million children in the Tigray region do not have access to life-saving humanitarian assistance. According to UNICEF, at least 140,000 children are already facing famine-like conditions. However, with violence continuing, delivering aid throughout the region remains complicated. Aid generally does not reach people outside of major towns, where people are known to have fled.  

Water and food security are issues

With limited food, clean water, hygiene services and a collapsed health system, the situation is dire. Shelter also remains a top concern in the region.  Internally displaced camps are overcrowded and lack all basic services. Women and children, especially girls, in camps face a heightened risk of sexual and gender-based violence.

Humanitarian organizations have also seen a spike in the number of unaccompanied and separated children living in displacement camps. Hundreds of unaccompanied children have trekked days with no possessions or family members to reach safety in Sudan.

Child concer

Children need urgent, life-saving aid. Donate now to support children in crisis

SOS Children’s Villages Response:

SOS Children’s Villages has launched a humanitarian response in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, which focuses on addressing emergency WASH, nutrition, and health needs of communities in Mekelle and the surrounding Enderta district.

Our teams on the ground are:

  • supplying lifesaving nutrition support for malnourished children, and pregnant and lactating women
  • training mothers and health professionals on infant and child nutrition
  • repairing damaged health facilities and water supply structures
  • refilling medicine and medical equipment supplies at health facilities that have been damaged in the conflict
  • establishing mobile health and nutrition teams
  • providing psychosocial support for gender-based violence survivors
  • providing food, clothing, mattresses, and blankets to gender-based violence survivors
  • supporting separated and unaccompanied children
  • improving access to safe drinking water by maintaining damaged water points and provision of water treatment chemicals and filters.