As Tigray’s crisis escalates, its children are becoming severely malnourished

As the situation in this war-torn region of Ethiopia worsens day by day, our work continues to find the best way to keep our promise to feed those in such desperate need.

Back to all stories | Posted on 11/22/21 in News

As of November 2019, pre-conflict, Mary’s Meals school feeding program was reaching 24,320 children across 36 schools through our local partner in Tigray. It’s been over a year since war engulfed the region and our focus pivoted to aiding families in crisis, adapting to the needs based on our partners’ assessments on the ground. With increased communication difficulties and border restrictions adding to the complications of getting aid to the area, it has been no small task to reach those who have sought refuge in the temporary camps of the region’s capital, Mekelle.

The latest news from the Guardian warns that the worst may be yet to come as Tigrayan civilians are specifically targeted. The BBC reports that the conflict is spreading and cites figures from the UN’s World Food Program that approximately 9.4 million people now require support.

In several areas where Mary’s Meals had implemented school feeding programs, humanitarian partners have confirmed the deaths of hundreds of people due to food shortage. As part of the battle ground of this devastating war, some of the villages have been burnt down or destroyed. Tens of thousands of poor farming households reported to have lost their livestock, farming tools, homes, and for many, their lives.

Mary’s Meals continues our feeding programs for internally displaced people despite the closure of the humanitarian corridor blocking basic food and medical supplies and completely cutting off electricity and communication. The situation is grave with millions of people already experiencing hunger and starvation across the region.

Through the courage of our partners, Mary’s Meals continues to feed more than 30,000 displaced people across 22 centers in Mekelle. In addition, we have provided educational activities for the children who have found some safety there after being unable to go to school for almost two years.

We will continue to find ways to provide for those trapped in the middle of this unforgiving conflict.