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Ethiopia: People in rural Tigray hit by impact of crisis and humanitarian neglect


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In Ethiopia, we respond to the healthcare needs of both local people and the growing number of refugees, returnees and displaced communities.

We work in coordination with, and in support to, the Ethiopian Ministry of Health (MoH), and conduct independent evaluations to determine people’s needs.

In Gambella we provide basic healthcare for refugees from South Sudan and the host community, while in Wardher and across the Somali region, our emergency teams carry out disease surveillance, prevention and response activities for drought-affected communities.

In Afar region, in the northeast, our teams support Dupti hospital by running a treatment facility for patients who need to be admitted for severe and complicated malnutrition. In nearby camps, we also run an outpatient malnutrition programme and provide water for displaced people. 

In Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People's region, MSF teams provide care through mobile clinics, epidemic response and occasional support to mass casualty situations. 

In Amhara region, we are assisting in responding to the increased needs in conflict affected areas by donating medical supplies to health facilities and providing mobile clinics for basic healthcare in North and South Wollo. We also treat kala azar and snakebites and offer basic laboratory services in the region. Our team provides health education to patients, their caretakers, staff at Abdurafi health centre, and wider communities.  

Brutal killing of our colleagues in Tigray, in June 2021

On 24 June 2021, our colleagues María Hernández Matas, Yohannes Halefom Reda and Tedros Gebremariam Gebremichael were killed while providing life-saving assistance to people in the Tigray region of Ethiopia. No one has claimed responsibility and the circumstances around their deaths remain unclear. 

After more than one year of engagement with the Ethiopian authorities, we still do not have any credible answers on what happened to our colleagues that day. This brutal attack on three MSF staff is an acute reminder of the urgent need for all parties to provide assurances that humanitarian work can be carried out safely in Tigray and the rest of Ethiopia. We will continue to honour the memory of María, Yohannes and Tedros, and pursue accountability for their killings using all possible means and avenues.

Left to right: Yohannes Halefom Reda, a coordination assistant, was 31 years old, from Ethiopia; María Hernández Matas, 35, from Spain, began working with MSF in 2015; Tedros Gebremariam Gebremichael, 31, also from Ethiopia, had been a driver for MSF since May 2021.

Our activities in 2022 in Ethiopia

Data and information from the International Activity Report 2022

MSF in Ethiopia in 2022 Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) resumed activities in Ethiopia’s Amhara, Gambella, Somali and Tigray regions in 2022.
Ethiopia IAR map 2022

Our teams also continued to work in Afar and Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR), providing healthcare in response to overlapping crises.

Despite the lifting of government restrictions, insecurity and administrative barriers continued to hamper humanitarian access to the estimated 20 million people in need of assistance across Ethiopia in 2022*. Although the two-year conflict in Tigray ended in November, thousands of people were killed or displaced by fighting across the country.

In March, we resumed healthcare services for South Sudanese refugees in Kule camp, Gambella region, and started to respond to malnutrition, cholera and measles in Somali region, an area badly affected by drought.

We also focused on malnutrition in Afar region, where we supported Dupti hospital, and ran mobile clinics and an inpatient centre providing care for malnutrition.

Throughout the year, our teams in SNNPR ran mobile clinics, and later, when conflict subsided, rehabilitated and supported health facilities.

In July, we reopened our project in Abdurafi, Amhara region, offering treatment for kala azar, a deadly tropical disease, and snakebites.

In northern and eastern Amhara, and northern Afar, we provided healthcare in conflict-affected communities through mobile clinics. We also donated medical supplies and rehabilitated looted and damaged health facilities. People we met described immense suffering, recounting personal stories of extreme violence, loss of livelihoods, homes and lands, and constant fear.

In November, we restarted our response in northwestern Tigray, supporting two healthcare facilities and running mobile clinics in rural areas, where health facilities and water infrastructure had been damaged or destroyed.

MSF continues to call for accountability for the death of our colleagues 
On 24 June 2021, our colleagues María Hernández Matas, Tedros Gebremariam Gebremichael and Yohannes Halefom Reda were brutally and intentionally killed, while clearly identified as humanitarian workers, in Tigray. After extensive engagement with the Ethiopian authorities, we still do not have any credible answers regarding what happened to our colleagues. MSF will keep pursuing accountability for this incident, with the hope that this will help improve the safety of humanitarian workers in Ethiopia. 



in 2022
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