International aid agency, World Vision, has appealed to donors for US$10 million in additional funding, as it launched its humanitarian response to the crisis in the conflict-affected Tigray region of Ethiopia. The aid agency is one of the first NGOs to respond with assessments and assistance. On 9 December, World Vision staff delivered sanitary medical supplies worth US $12,000 to Alamata Hospital; an infirmary that has recently become overwhelmed with patients with severe malnutrition, malaria, and water borne diseases.
According to World Vision staff, the hospital has run out of medical supplies, is understaffed, and has had no ability to pay salaries or provide for their medical personnel, many of whom fled north to Mekele.
“It’s a heartbreaking situation,” says World Vision National Director, Edward Brown, “Not only are thousands of children severely impacted by this crisis, without electricity, water, and food for over a month, but our own staff and families are in the same boat.” World Vision has also sent food, medical supplies, and care packages to its own staff suffering due to the conflict.
World Vision has mobilised US$1.5 million to provide emergency shelter, health, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), and protection supplies. World Vision has been among the first agencies to respond with assessments and assistance in a few areas that are safe and accessible and has appealed to donors for US$10 million in additional funding.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ongoing desert locust and army worm plagues, erratic rainfall resulting in localised flooding and drought, compounded by displacement of over 3 million people due to ethnic violence in recent years, Ethiopia is now grappling with conflict.
According to UNOCHA’s report on 7 December 2020, nearly 50,000 refugees have fled to Sudan in the wake of the intense military conflict, destruction of infrastructure, and internal displacement of potentially hundreds of thousands of civilians. “Thank God, Ethiopia has done remarkably well this year in mitigating against the spread of the COVID-19 and overcoming other daunting challenges, but the Tigray crisis poses the biggest threat of all,” said Brown. “2020 has presented one crisis after another. The purpose of our response is to prevent further destruction and death, and to contribute towards a sustainable and just peace.”
The Government of Ethiopia (GoE) and the United Nations signed an agreement on 28 November including unimpeded, sustained and secure access for humanitarian personnel and services to vulnerable populations in GoE-administered areas of Tigray. However, the implementation of that agreement has yet to be fully realised as there continues to be insecurity and other challenges. UNICEF estimates that 2.3 million children are in need of humanitarian assistance in Tigray.
“World Vision Ethiopia asks for your prayers and support at this difficult and challenging time, as we accompany the children of Ethiopia during the crisis,” adds Brown.
For further information or to organise and interview please contact:
Kebede Gizachew Ayalew - Communications & External Engagement Manager, World Vision Ethiopia - Phone: +251966-270109 - Email: Kebede_GizachewAyalew@wvi.org
World Vision has lbeen working in the Tigray Region for over 40 years. Currently, World Vision Ethiopia has seven Area Programmes and 11 grant funded projects implemented by 83 staff in Tigray. Private individual sponsors from Australia, the U.S. and Taiwan directly support 19,254 children and indirectly benefit over 350,000 people through various integrated development programmes including WASH, Livelihoods and Food Security, Education, and Sponsorship.
Last year World Vision programmes in the Tigray region were supported by US$2.9 million in private funding and over US$140 million in total enabling the aid agency to provide food, medical and other supplies for the entire country.
World Vision began its first intervention in Ethiopia in 1971 with relief and opened the Ethiopia office in 1975. With currently 1,419 staff World Vision is the largest humanitarian and development agency in Ethiopia. With a total of 83 staff in seven rural offices and in Mekelle, the regional capital of Tigray, World Vision is well positioned to respond.
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organisation dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities to reach their full potential by tackling the root causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender. For more information, please visit firstname.lastname@example.org or follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/WorldVisionEth