More aid needed for those displaced in Ethiopia’s Tigray region

In November 2020, fighting broke out in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia, forcing hundreds of thousands of residents to flee their homes. While some 50,000 people have crossed the border into Sudan as refugees, others remain scattered throughout the Tigray region. Since December, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) teams have been able to reach some of these displaced people with medical care, but we are very concerned for the fate of those we have not reached. “For a big part of the population in Tigray, they are still in areas where there has been hardly any humanitarian assistance provided,” says the head of MSF’s emergency department Karline Kleijer. Before the violence began in Tigray, she says, “there were at least 500,000 people already dependent on assistance in this region.” This is also an area that was hosting a number of refugees from neighboring Eritrea—the fate of those refugees is still unknown. “Our biggest worry for the population, the longer this situation lasts,” says Kleijer, “is how they can access food and what that means for their well-being.”