The Ethiopia Crisis

In early November 2020, conflict between regional and federal forces broke out in the Tigray region of Ethiopia. What has followed is a humanitarian crisis causing massive suffering.

Brutal attacks on women, children and men have forced tens of thousands of people from their homes. Estimates indicate over two million people need assistance in the region. Food, water and other basic supplies are scarce. Some families are trapped in the Tigray region without resources. Others are taking the arduous journey to neighboring countries to live as refugees.

A family sits under a makeshift tent and tree, Ethiopian refugees in transit. Photo by Joost Bastmeijer.
Photo by Joost Bastmeijer

Many refugees fleeing the Ethiopia conflict cross the border with only the clothes on their backs and a few possessions. Countless people have lost family along the way. Men are arriving with wounds. Pregnant women are crossing ready to give birth. Children – who make up nearly a third of refugees – are especially vulnerable to malnutrition and disease.

Inside refugee camps, medical care is a primary concern and access is very limited. With inadequate water and sanitation, there is a high risk of exposure to communicable diseases. In the region, there are also several deadly diseases present, such as cholera, measles, dengue and malaria. Finally, concerns about malnutrition are growing as food is in short supply.

A mother and daughter walk along a dirt path, Ethiopian refugees in Sudan, photo by Joost Bastmeijer
Photo by Joost Bastmeijer

Our Response

We are working alongside partners to care for displaced Ethiopians in both the Tigray region and Sudan, where many refugees have fled. With your support, we are shipping critical medical supplies into Tigray – supplies like syringes, gowns and surgical packs.

In Sudan, we will establish a clinic in Um Rakuba refugee camp to provide life-saving care to Ethiopian refugees. Our team will screen for malnutrition and infectious diseases and provide wound care. A team of community health workers will also be trained to share health messages and monitor the health of refugees.

To relieve pressure on the local health system, we’ll also be supporting a hospital near the camp with supplies, equipment and training. This support will be especially important for mothers and children in need of urgent medical care.

Some of the worst disasters in the world today are caused by conflict and the refugee crisis is growing every day. At Medical Teams, we are poised to respond quickly to new disasters, like the Ethiopia crisis. But we can’t do that without you. Your support will help reach even more people in need with life-saving medical care.

Learn more about what's happening in the Tigray Region