The situation in Tigray is extremely critical as the conflict in the Ethiopian region is escalates. Many people are fleeing in desperation to Sudan.
Bonn/Berlin, 2020-11-23 The military conflict in the Ethiopian province of Tigray is forcing thousands of families to leave their villages and their land, to seek shelter in neighbouring Sudan. There has been bitter fighting for more than two weeks between the central government in Addis Ababa and the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF).
According to United Nations figures, around 2,500 people are currently crossing the border daily into Sudan. After walking for days, the refugees are exhausted when they reach villages in the provinces of Kassala and Gedaref. About 40,000 refugees urgently need humanitarian assistance, as they are arriving in Sudan hungry, thirsty, and terrified. They had to leave everything behind in their homeland. The UN expects a further increase to as many as 400,000 people over the coming months.
“The people are desperate, because they find themselves in a dramatic and undignified situation. The help provided so far is not enough: they have no water, no food, hardly any toilet facilities, and no roof over their heads. Everything is in short supply, and more people are arriving daily. We just can't leave these people behind”, says Shadrack Mutiso, Welthungerhilfe coordinator, about the situation in the refugee reception centres in Hamdayet.
As a first step, Welthungerhilfe will supply about 8,000 people in Sudan with clean drinking water, cooking utensils, soap, blankets, and clothes. Sanitation facilities are also being set up at the same time, to improve the disastrous hygiene conditions. People have sought refuge in former refugee camps, where Sudanese refugees lived during previous conflicts. At the same time, new camps are being set up, because the number of refugees is rising daily. Welthungerhilfe is also planning to set up shelters for children and women.
Welthungerhilfe is asking for donations for the people affected by the military conflict.
Shadrack Mutiso, a Welthungerhilfe staff member in Kassala at the border between Ethiopia and Sudan, is available for interviews.
Welthungerhilfe is one of the largest private aid organisations in Germany; politically independent and non-denominational. It is fighting for “Zero Hunger by 2030”. Since it was founded in 1962, more than 9,830 overseas projects in 70 countries have been supported with 3.95 billion euros. Welthungerhilfe works on the principle of empowering people to help themselves: from fast disaster relief to reconstruction and long-term development cooperation projects with national and international partner organisations.