Dire situation for mothers and children
It's been months since fighting broke out in Tigray, one of the poorest regions in Ethiopia. And even after a fair harvest, hundreds of thousands rely on food assistance here. As the conflict started there were already more than a million people in the region relying on aid, and more than 600,000 grappling with hunger.
To make an already difficult situation harder, COVID-19 and desert locust infestation further hindered the ability of families to provide for even their basic needs. The conflict, which displaced hundreds of thousands, only made things even more difficult.
According to UNICEF’s situation report from January 14, 2021, 4.5 million people need emergency food assistance in Tigray - as many as 2.3 million of whom are children.
From conflict to food crisis
Leges (pictured above), a 30-year-old mother of six, is among those who have been displaced. Together with her six children, she hid in the forest for six days before making the six-day walk to safety, along with many others. She suffered greatly on the way to Shire, where she is currently living in an Internally Displaced People (IDP) camp.
“I just rushed to flee, leaving behind my house and all my property to save my children’s and my lives. I hope one day we would be back in our home,” she says, explaining how the cold weather, lack of sleep and lack of food is affecting her and her children. "I came here expecting at least to get food, water and shelter. Unfortunately, I am getting little or no food,” she adds.