Food Security Crisis in Tigray – Urgent Support Needed!

A Call to All Concerned National and International Bodies who Care to Alleviate the Continued Humanitarian Suffering and Decimation

Food Security Crisis in Tigray – Urgent Support Needed!

I am writing as a religious leader with deep concern, and feeling for the pain of tens of millions of our population in the country, especially the children, elders and women of Tigray, which the Catholic Diocese of Adigrat covers – where millions of displaced persons as well as hundreds of thousands of refugees who now call home in the region of Tigray as well as in neighboring Afar, Amhara and Oromia. I am a witness to unspeakable suffering, despair, disease and death around me due to years of conflict, drought and localized rain failure as well lack of attention to meet basic needs.

Our diocese as well as many organizations are joining together to provide for the most vulnerable via our own means as well as via support from public and intemational institutions but it is clearly not enough. We see the human face of the statistics all receive via reports: rising malnutrition, less than half of needs met last year and even less commitment to meet needs in Tigray this year. We embrace children so under-nourished that they appear skin and bones, listen to families who are struggling to provide even a portion of a single meal each day, and every month mom hundreds of beloved community members dying of diseases they might not have succumbed to were they not suffering from severe hunger.

Our problem is holistic social, political, economic, psychological, and spiritual for the whole Tigray and also for the neighboring populations who are in a similar situation. In the eyes of the Catholic Church, every human being is a beloved child of God, deserving of equal dignity and care. Yet, the marginalized Irob and Kunama communities in Tigray continue to endure unimaginable suffering. These minority communities and all the people living in the border area districts are calling for holistic help to get out of this continued siege in their own country. The plight of well over 1 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) adds to our conscience the most vulnerable among us.

We are very grateful for what is being done, but there is an immediate additional need. In the

coming months, we face very serious climatic change impacts to be hitting us this year foreboding

unpredictable rains, drought and flooding. We need not wait for a truly catastrophic situation to occur

before sounding the alarm we are sounding the alarm now. The population of Tigray and neighboring

regions have suffered years of war, drought and disease and have demonstrated a resilience few can

believe – and we pray that we make it through this crisis. In fact, prayer and action are needed, as noted

by His Holiness Pope Francis: “we pray for the hungry, then we feed them – this is how prayer works.” We

ask donors to join us in committing more resources to meet basic needs of Tigray and

neighboring Regions via fully fund the multi-agency Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) so we

may weather the current crisis, start recovering and build a more prosperous and peaceful future.

I make this plea to the respective national and international governments and community for relieving the

suffering and reduce the dying from such dire situations and for speeding up the implementation of

Pretoria Peace Agreement for peace. We in the Diocese of Adigrat sincerely thank you, and to

those who anticipate to celebrate Easter with us on May 5th, may the promise of Easter fill your heart

with Joy, Love and Peace. Happy and Blessed Easter to you and your family.

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