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“There’s a great sea of people here with no food at all…”

Sometimes I don’t know how to begin.

I’m sure you’ve heard mention of this, from me or from the news.

The Afar people, from Ethiopia’s north-east, are in the grips of a devastating human tragedy.

It’s the worst I’ve seen in my time here at Ethiopiaid.

As a compassionate supporter for people in need in our world, I know you’ll be as troubled by that as I am.

I feel like you’re the kind of person who cares about many different charities, and I can easily see the impact you have for the world’s most vulnerable.

That’s why I’m reaching out to you now. Because I desperately need compassionate people around Australia to rally together in the face of Ethiopia’s crisis.

A displaced mother & children boil water on the ground while hoping for food aid

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Thirst and Hunger verses to Need to Recover

Drought conditions have taken a massive grip on much of the Region

Thirst
For almost the entire Region, rain has not fallen since late September 2021. Now, in the thick of the annual hot season, communities are crying out to be rescued from the dangers of thirst. Added to this, Kamsiin winds are blowing off the Saudi Peninsular, the annual 50 days of searing heat dust. Now scores of communities that have road access are begging for water trucking, even more than usual as TPLF have destroyed and dismantled as many water schemes as they could reach in the process of battle.

Women stop for a chat in Shekoyta.

APDA is currently water trucking with 7 vehicles and being asked to more than double this. While the rain has begun in Addis, there is no sign of immanent precipitation right now, the main rainy season not expected before late July. This daily hardship falls on women, as it is they who are traditionally responsible to bring water to the household and it is they who perform all care for dependent family members.
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Dual Crisis of On-going Conflict and Drought

  1. The peace truce but still conflict

As of March 31st, the Afar people abided by their side of the truce to allow humanitarian convoys into Tigray travelling through Afar Region. Within two days of the first convoy getting in, fighting had resumed in Magaale, the Afar militia pushing TPLF fighters back from Bubbuyse, just 20 kilometers from where the majority of Magaale’s 35,000 displaced people are harboring in Dirma. Fighting in Konnaba is persistent with the TPLF controlling the entire district and jockeying to come back into Dallol through Dam’ale.

While the TPLF did withdraw from Erebti town around 20 kilometers from the border with Aba’ala district on the main road on April 12th, they have left behind mayhem of destruction: all shops systematically looted, government offices rendered unusable, private houses ripped apart, the school now totally unserviceable. While the clinic was raided of all possible supplies and equipment, the building still stands. The worse for the local people was they desecrated Islam by bringing the Koranic books out of the mosque and urinating on them. Erebti the last town Tigray – bound convoys pass through before reaching Aba’ala town where they cross into Tigray. Continue reading

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Update from Valerie – 6th December 2021

Our Club have been collecting donations and have forwarded funds directly to Valerie. In an email she replied that “these funds will help to purchase emergency food and milk for the children in the villages she is travelling to in the next few days”, she is very, very overwhelmed with the support we have been able to provide. A little bit of good news is that the Ethiopian Government troops have moved into the local towns and blocked the Tigrayan forces and moving them further north away from the AFAR region.

The following is a short update from Valerie Browning:

Dear all again,

this is the latest info – as of the last 3 days, the PM is actually ordering the army and there have been advances.

If this means TPLF will be out of Afar Region, this is tenuous since the border is very long and the hills very porous for such activities. Afar displaced will not be secure to go home for sometime. Then the recovery is such a long road ahead.

APDA is working hard to assist any other NGOs to take assistance in and also looking at how to balance between those in the community who have some ability to feed their household and those who are destitute – trying to stimulate markets and so on.

As winter sets in for these people, sincerely need to work harder to battle the shelter issues – Afar traditional mats above anything are wanted and needed to build an Afar nomadic house again. with many thanks to each of you

Valerie

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-11-27/ethiopia-prime-minister-ahmed-abiy-tigray-war-battlefront/100655654