Emergency Aid to Communities in Tigray

The conflict that erupted on November 3rd, 2020, in northern Ethiopia has exposed millions to food insecurity. There is demonstrated improvement in unhindered humanitarian access in the Tigray region following a peace deal between the federal government and Tigrayan authorities. However, the peace dividend is yet to reach thousands of Internally Displaced People (IDPs) stranded in refugee camps across Tigray and neighboring areas. Furthermore, USAID and the World Food Programme (WFP) have partly suspended aid to Ethiopia due to reports of theft and diversion of aid.

Despite the challenges, It Rains Food Bank of Ethiopia (IRFBE) continues to support communities facing emergencies across Ethiopia in line with its Emergency Response Program. On September 10th, 2023, the eve of the Ethiopian New Year, IRFBE distributed 6,200 kg of basic food items to 216 women-headed households in Axum High School Refugee Camp, reaching over 1,060 people. The emergency response in Axum was made possible by funding from The Global Food Banking Network’s Disaster Response Program.

Condition of the Refugee Camp and Glimmer of Hope

Axum High School Refugee Camp is located in Axum city in the Tigray region. The school turned into a refugee camp to provide shelter to 12,896 internally displaced people due to the Tigray conflict. Limited access to clean water and sanitation heightens the risk of an outbreak of communicable diseases in the camp. Environmental protection is also a concern as people cut down trees for cooking due to a lack of electricity and fuel. The permanent cessation of hostilities signed by the warring parties on November 2nd, 2022, has brought some hope for the refugees who are desperate to return to their homes.

The IRFBE team would like to thank The Global Food Banking Network (GFN) for the grant that made Project Healing Hearts possible. IRFBE recognizes the Axum Social Affairs Office, Tigray Region’s Administration of Northern IDPs Office, Covenant Axum Charity Fund Organization, and Aksum Derar Awet Humanitarian Support Organization for their contribution to making the project a complete success.

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