Food, Health Services Still Needed in Ethiopia’s Tigray Region amid Improved Access

Credit: Salesian Missions

There is still need for food and health services in Ethiopia’s Tigray region despite improved access, the Superior of the Salesian Province of Africa-Ethiopia (AET) has said. 

Violent conflict in the Tigray region started in November 2020 when the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) allegedly launched an attack on Ethiopia’s Federal Government Army base in the region.

TPLF and people in the Tigray region were reportedly opposed to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s bid to centralize power in Africa's second most populous country.

On 2 November 2022, a peace agreement between the Ethiopian government and TPLF was reached in Pretoria, South Africa. 

In the agreement, the two parties pledged to “permanently silence the guns and end the two years of conflict in northern Ethiopia” that had rendered the Tigray inaccessible, making humanitarian support difficult.


In his note to the information service of Propaganda Fide, Agenzia Fides, Fr. Hailemariam Medhin has been quoted as saying, “Sending humanitarian aid to Tigray has become easier and we continue to assist people who have been affected by the two years of conflict.

“We are slowly resuming counseling services and reopening educational centers, but most of all people need food and health services,” Fr. Medhin adds in the Monday, February 27 Agenzia Fides report.

The member of the Religious Institute of Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB) said that the Tigrayan people in need of humanitarian support in the region number about seven million.

“Although the peace agreement has been signed and many services have been restored, there are still many needs. Banks are open but people still do not have access to their accounts,” says Fr. Medhin.

He lauds the efforts by the members of SDB in the region, which he says has been constant and complements government provisions.

More in Africa

In Tigray, Fr. Medhin says that there are 25 Salesians “engaged in serving more than 5,000 minors and youth in educational centers of all levels, technical institutes, youth centers, and parishes.”

He acknowledges with appreciation a shipment of goods sent to the Salesian house in Mekele by the World Food Programme, which he says was put together with contributions from other parishes and distributed to the needy.

The Agenzia Fides report indicates that “the presence of the Salesian missionaries of Don Bosco in Ethiopia dates back to 1975. Their first center was in Mekelle, the capital of Tigray.”

The presence of SDB members in the Horn of Africa nation currently extends to a total of 14 houses, of which four are in Tigray and three in Eritrea.

In partnership with the Salesian Sisters of Don Bosco who registered their first presence in the country in 1986 in Dilla, the two groups “also pay particular attention and resources to street children, victims of human trafficking and prisoners.”


Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.