Parishes in Ethiopia’s Adigrat Catholic Eparchy Facing Humanitarian Crisis, Witnesses Say

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Those who have experienced the effects of the ongoing crisis in Ethiopia say that the situation in some Parishes of the Catholic Eparchy of Adigrat is deteriorating owing to the humanitarian crisis that has led to food shortage.

The sources who maintained anonymity narrated how soldiers attacked the Parishes leaving them in a bad situation, and said that “people must listen to the cries of the affected population.”

“Since the beginning of the conflict in the Ethiopian region of Tigray, nothing is known about some parishes of the Eparchy of Adigrat. We know that foreign soldiers attacked several of them. People must listen to the cries of the affected population,” the sources told the information service of Propaganda Fide, Agenzia Fides, in a Tuesday, February 1 report.

The sources further say that the Local Ordinary of the Catholic Eparchy of Adigrat, Bishop Tesfasellassie Medhin, is also crying for help as people are traumatized by the war.

“Let them have food. Not weapons. Why is the world so silent? Why, in this world of great abundance, are people dying of hunger? The food is there but it is blocked. For what reason? Everyone must know that Tigray is in shock, children are dying and the world is watching”, witnesses to the challenging situation have been quoted as saying. 


Appreciating the Catholic Church missionaries for speaking about the Tigrayan crisis while little is known about other regions, the witnesses of the Ethiopian conflict say the affected people are not only from Tigray but also from other parts of the Horn of Africa nation.

They express concern that the cultural heritage of the country, including infrastructure, schools, churches, monasteries, mosques, and some cemeteries, is being destroyed.

According to Agenzia Fides, 90 percent of the sanitary facilities in the embattled region have been destroyed and since the beginning of the conflict, no one has received a salary in Tigray.

The news service of Propaganda Fide further reports that all those who worked for the government no longer have a salary.

Comparing those in rural areas to those living in urban areas, the witnesses who had direct conversation with Agenzia Fides are quoted as saying that the cost of living is more favorable to those in rural areas than those in urban areas.

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“In the villages, we can fetch wood in the forest, water in the rivers. But in the cities, you have to buy everything, pay the rent, and feed your family. What do you do after a year and a half without income? Humanitarian aid would be ready but the ongoing conflict does not allow it,” the witnesses narrate.

Agenzia Fides further reports that what is needed in the region is the opening of humanitarian corridors to help the civilian population adding that the blockade is killing a lot of innocent people.

On the issue of children dying of malnutrition, the question posed is how human beings or thousands of young people without a future will be recovered when the war will end at some point.

In the February 1 report, the impact of the war is projected to exist for years as experts equate it to two or three generations due to the depth of traumas experienced by those who are directly affected by the violent conflict. 

“For society to return to normal, it is urgent and necessary to act now, not to wait and be ready once the war is over”, the source that Agenzia Fides kept anonymous says, and adds, “A strategic plan must be developed to help the traumatized society. It is necessary but, at the same time, life-saving interventions are required immediately.”


In a report dated January 27, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), reported that Humanitarian partners in Tigray continue to downsize operations due to the depletion of supplies, fuel, and cash, voicing concerns over ceasing operations by end of February.

OCHA further reported, “Zero therapeutic nutrition supplies in Tigray, including for the treatment of children with severe acute malnutrition and says a shipment of medical supplies was transported via UNHAS flight to Mekelle on 24 January.”

“More than 523,000 people reached with food assistance during the week under two food distribution rounds in Amhara. More than 60 unaccompanied and separated children, including 27 girls, were identified during the reporting period in Afar,” OCHA leadership said in the January 27 report.