Salesian Entity Responding to Food Insecurity in Ethiopia’s Tigray Region

Credit: Salesian Missions

The U.S.-based development arm of the Religious Institute of the Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB), Salesian Missions, is responding to the growing food insecurity crisis in Ethiopia's Tigray region.

In a Tuesday, August 30 report, Salesian Missions officials say they have been working to “address food shortfalls and other needs in the face of ongoing conflicts in the Tigray region of Ethiopia.”

“With funding recently received, Salesians were able to provide food items including wheat, Famix (multivitamin food), cooking oil, macaroni, rice and salt. Sanitary items, soap and 400 blankets were also sent from May to July,” officials of the SDB entity say.

Salesians have 14 houses in Ethiopia, with four in Mekelle, Adigrat, Adwa and Shire in Tigray, and three houses in Eritrea, SDB officials say in the report.

In the August 30 report, they note that the Tigray region has “roughly 7 million inhabitants, all struggling with food insecurity at this time.”


According to Salesian officials in Ethiopia, “Since the Federal Government left Tigray in June 2021, there are no roads, telephones, internet, banks or electricity.”

“As a result, Salesians have been cut off from normal communication with communities in Tigray,” Salesian Missions officials further say, adding, “Supplies are scarce, and those that are available are not affordable because cash is not available.”

“The inflation in the country is very high and prices of basic necessities are out of reach for most,” they add.

SDB members in Ethiopia have also been receiving information from Tigray that “people have started to die because of a lack of food and medication.”

“The aid that other Salesian organizations around the globe as well as other humanitarian organizations have provided is much needed and appreciated,” SDB members say.

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In the report, the Superior of the Salesian Province of Africa-Ethiopia (AET), Fr. Hailemariam Medhin, is quoted as saying in reference to those who have supported their mission in the Horn of Africa nation, “We are really grateful to all of you for your support. This would not become reality if it were not for the ongoing support.”

“We are also very grateful to the World Food Programme who are ready to support us in all we ask.” Fr. Medhin further says, and adds, “We also thank Catholic Relief Services and others who facilitate fuel and vehicles so the aid can reach destinations.”

Ethiopia was already struggling from economic impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing drought, SDB members say in the report, and recall the start of “a full-scale war” pitting the Federal Government of Ethiopia and the Northern part of the country, Tigray region, in November 2020.

“The prolonged war also impacted parts of the Amhara and Afar Regions,” officials of the SDB entity say in the August 30 report.

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.