The people of Tigray are threatened by extreme hunger in Ethiopia – Fida’s help reaches them
In Tigray, food shortages due to armed conflict and the Corona pandemic have deepened. The UN estimates that more people are suffering from hunger in the Tigray area than anywhere else in the world and the situation is expected to worsen in the coming months. Aklil, a widow, who has just given birth, tells of the horrors of recent months.
In January, Fida started disaster relief in the city of Mekele together with the local Guennet Pentecostal Church. Because it has been difficult to deliver aid to the area, money has been given directly to people’s accounts. The grant amount always covers one family at a time with two meals and essential hygiene items. The aid helps about 500 families, a large proportion of them single parents, widows, single women and people with disabilities who have no other way to earn a living, especially in the midst of conflict.
“We have hope as we pray to God for help”
Aklil, 38, was seven months pregnant when she had to flee armed conflict with her five children. The walk on foot to relatives in another city was long and dangerous: Aklil and her children were caught in the middle of a hail of bullets.
– I couldn’t run because of my pregnancy, so I was about to lose all hope of survival. However, with God’s help, we survived and reached our relatives, Aklil says.
Aklil and the children waited for the family’s father to arrive at the same shelter, but he never got there. The father of six children died as he was shot on the way.
– It brought great sorrow and darkness over our family. The head of our family was gone, and I was left alone, says Aklil quietly.
However, the birth of Aklil’s baby girl has brought light and hope. The challenges for the family continue. After their father’s death, the family’s livelihood was also jeopardized, as the man had been the family’s main breadwinner. Now Aklil is facing financial challenges alone and the family has had a shortage of food. Aklil has been assisted by Fida and Guennet Church.
– God remembered us in this difficult situation, Aklil says.
– I received a two-month financial grant to buy food. Help came just before Easter. Oh, how it gave me hope! I was able to buy food for my children and celebrate an important holiday for us during all this horror. We will get a new grant soon. It gives me the strength to cope. We have hope as we pray to God for help. Thanks for your help!
Fida’s support in the region continues
Fida will soon start distributing food to 950 children living in the refugee camp as well.
In addition to food assistance, an occupational psychologist has trained volunteers to conduct psychosocial support Trauma Healing sessions for those suffering from war traumas. So far, at least 59 sessions have been held in various communities. Aklil also received support for her trauma and grief in the midst of a difficult situation.
– It was very important for me to be able to share my concerns and burdens with others, Aklil says.