Analysis released today show that up to 400,000 women, men and children in Tigray, Ethiopia are now facing acute food insecurity. At least 33,000 children are suffering from severe acute malnutrition, with a real risk of dying from hunger if they do not receive urgent treatment.
Action Against Hunger, a nonprofit leader in hunger prevention and treatment, today warned that the humanitarian crisis will continue to deteriorate – with deadly consequences – if action is not taken now. In the coming months, nearly 4.4 million people in the region – roughly 3 in every 4 people – are expected to face serious acute food insecurity.
Humanitarians have been warning of the dire situation in the region since the conflict began in November 2020. Conflict continues to limit humanitarian access to parts of Tigray and the border areas of Amhara and Afar, where entire communities remain cut off from lifesaving supplies and assistance.
After nearly nine months of conflict in Tigray, many farmers were forced to miss planting season and will not have harvests. Warring parties have targeted and destroyed health centers and looted medicine and other lifesaving supplies. Many doctors, nurses, and other health workers fled and have not returned to work; some have not been paid for months. In response to humanitarian needs, Action Against Hunger’s work in Tigray has focused on responding to health and nutrition needs, restoring access to clean water and safe sanitation, and providing protection and mental health support to vulnerable people. Yet, significant additional investment is needed to address this growing humanitarian disaster.
“We are alarmed at the severity of this hunger crisis, and we urge all parties involved in the conflict to uphold International Humanitarian Law to allow unimpeded humanitarian access so that aid can reach communities in desperate need,” said Hajir Maalim, Action Against Hunger’s Regional Director for the Horn and East Africa. “Additionally, we call on the global community to dramatically scale up its funding for emergency food assistance, nutrition treatment, and livelihoods support.”
“Famine is always man-made, and its solutions must be, too. We must step up and act now before more lives are lost to hunger and conflict in Tigray and the border areas,” said Maalim.