A woman and child escape conflict in the northern region of Ethiopia via bus, surrounded by other internally displaced people. Photo by Joost Bastmeijer.

2.3 million people affected by conflict and in urgent need of safety, food and medicine

(PORTLAND, OR) June 16, 2021 – The conflict in northern Ethiopia that began in November 2020 has resulted in a full-scale humanitarian emergency, with an estimated 2.3 million people affected by the conflict and 5.2 million in need of humanitarian assistance. Portland-based humanitarian health organization Medical Teams International has launched a response in northern Ethiopia and eastern Sudan to provide urgently-needed health care.

People displaced within the northern Ethiopia region are in crisis, facing extreme food insecurity, violence and dangerous conflict. They are at high risk for diseases like pneumonia, malaria, diarrhea, malnutrition and outbreaks like measles and cholera. COVID-19 is still on the rise. Health facilities in northern Ethiopia have been looted and destroyed. With 20% of health facilities functioning, the regional facilities lack the supplies, staff and equipment to meet the growing needs of people on the ground. Medical Teams is actively fundraising to meet these needs, and time is of the essence to save lives.

In partnership with organizations including ZOA International, Food for the Hungry, World Vision, World Health Organization, Northern Ethiopia Regional Health Bureau and Airlink, Medical Teams’ goal is to increase access to health care by re-establishing health facilities to make them functional, with an emphasis on reproductive and child health and trauma support. The team is actively hiring local providers looking for work in the area to help support.

In early May, Medical Teams shipped over $200,000 of essential medical supplies into Ethiopia through Airlink to World Vision Ethiopia, where they are experiencing medical and food supply shortages. Later that month, Medical Teams activated a Mobile Medical Team to meet urgent nutrition and medical needs. The team is currently screening individuals for malnutrition and finding high levels in women and children, many of whom are in critical condition. Medical Teams is working to increase the functionality of clinics in the area and to provide health care to 15,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) within the northern Ethiopia region and 70,000 host community members who have been without health services for seven months. Medical Teams also established a health clinic in eastern Sudan, where many people fled, to serve vulnerable Ethiopian refugees living in camps.

Some of the worst disasters in the world today are caused by conflict and the refugee crisis is growing every day. Medical Teams is poised to respond quickly to new disasters. Your support will help reach even more people in need with life-saving medical care. 

To make a donation to Medical Teams to bring life-saving medical care to Ethiopian refugees in Sudan and internally displaced people in Ethiopia, visit https://give.medicalteams.org/give/ethiopia-crisis.htm


About Medical Teams International

Founded in 1979, Medical Teams International provides life-saving medical care for people in crisis, such as survivors of natural disasters and refugees. We care for the whole person— physical, emotional, social and spiritual. Daring to love like Jesus, we serve all people—regardless of religion, nationality, sex or race. Learn more at medicalteams.org and on social media using @medicalteams.