Ethiopia: Tigray faced with extreme hunger Ethiopia: Tigray faced with extreme hunger

Ethiopia: Tigray faced with extreme hunger

Ethiopia: Tigray faced with extreme hunger

In Ethiopia, the authorities of Tigray declared a state of famine.

After two years of war and several episodes of drought, the once lush fields are now barren. To cope with the lack of food, a health center provides ready-to-use complementary foods to keep the most vulnerable children alive. The director of the establishment loses hope:

" There is nothing to eat here. So, to get food and save their lives, people go anywhere, far from here. Here in this region, many people suffer from hunger. And end up dying. ” 

Desperate, farmers still go to their fields to start plowing this very arid land, months in advance. They are haunted by memories of the famine of the 1980s.

Haile Gebre Kirstos testifies: " We have nothing, absolutely nothing. Some sell their belongings, like livestock, to survive. Although we have three farms, there is nothing to harvest. Selling livestock becomes a means of survival when there is nothing else to eat ."

Residents had donated grain to the Tigrayan fighters, before government forces came to pillage grain reserves and steal livestock. 

For international relations experts, such as Edgar Githua, this looting would be a war tactic: " The government has in fact used food as a weapon and by seizing food aid sent to the Tigray region, it has simply sought to apply the so-called scorched earth policy. This is a practice prohibited by international humanitarian law as the siege of a conflict zone is contrary to international humanitarian law and risks endangering civilians .

Tigrayan officials accuse the federal government of downplaying the crisis, as Tigray faces one of the worst famines in its history. Nearly 400 people have died of starvation in the Tigray and Amhara regions in recent months.

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