February 3, 2021
By Naba Gurung
On November 4, 2020, a long-standing political disagreement between the Ethiopian federal government and the northern state of Tigray’s regional government led to an outbreak of hostilities. Military action forced people to flee their homes and lose their sources of income. Now three months later, the region is facing a severe humanitarian crisis and meaningful humanitarian operations have yet to begin. More than two million people are displaced within the country, while close to 60,000 people have fled to Sudan.
PWRDF responded to an ACT Alliance humanitarian appeal with $35,000 to support the work of Lutheran World Federation (LWF) in Ethiopia. PWRDF and LWF Ethiopia are members of the ACT Alliance, a coalition of 130 Protestant and Orthodox faith-based organizations engaged in humanitarian, development and advocacy work, operating in 120 countries.
The ACT appeal is responding to the humanitarian crises of people displaced within Ethiopia and those taking refuge in Sudan. LWF has worked extensively in the Amhara region, implementing emergency water supply activities and constructing permanent water systems, conducting environmental protection activities, and strengthening the livelihood of communities through food production and income generating activities.
LWF has a strong presence and good reputation in North Wollo Zone and currently manages food security and climate resilience-building projects in Lasta and Bugna Woredas. The LWF’s regional coordination office (RCO) in Lalibela is equipped with the required staffing and resources to provide overall management and administrative support to the proposed project. LWF will coordinate with the relevant stakeholder to address additional gaps that may arise while implementing this project due to unexpected circumstances.
The Tigray region was already hosting 100,000 internally displaced people and 96,000 Eritrean refugees before the current conflict unfolded in November 2020. PWRDF is concerned about the safety and security of all civilians in Tigray. Access from humanitarian relief organizations to those who are suffering, fearful and hungry is a challenge, but critical.
PWRDF joins ACT Alliance and the UN in calling for all parties to the conflict to protect civilians, respect the safety of humanitarian staff, and allow access to reach people in need.