CaFOD News: Lent 2021 – Week 6: Palm Sunday

Our “Walk for Water” campaign is hoping to raise funds for the arid area of Ethiopia known as Afar. This week we thought we’d share with you some news from Ethiopia to help you appreciate what life is like there at present.

On 4 November 2020, armed conflict broke out between the regional government and the Federal government in northern Ethiopia in the country’s Tigray region. Media reports say that clashes between Ethiopian and Tigrayan forces continue in Tigray and over 1 million people are now thought to be displaced. Now, it is estimated that over 4.5 million people are in need and over 61,000 have fled to neighbouring Sudan. (The picture shows one of the refugee camps in Sudan).

Hunger is a major issue throughout the war torn area, with harvests impacted in November and December, and many areas are approaching famine levels. Most health clinics have been destroyed or looted and are struggling to function. All this in the middle of a global pandemic.

Along with our local partners, CAFOD is supporting health clinics and pharmacies to provide vital care and to restock medicines and supplies. They are working with local experts and community support networks to provide psychosocial support to people and communities affected by the conflict. In multiple locations around Tigray, they have been able to support with the delivery of temporary shelter materials, blankets, sleeping mats, cooking items and hygiene kits for families displace by and made homeless by the conflict. CAFOD’s partner, Caritas Internationalis, is working to provide emergency food aid to thousands of people in need. Working alongside the church in Ethiopia, they plan to deliver water to 30,000 people, nutrition support to over 50,000 children under 5, and practical support like trauma and emergency kits along with hygiene facilities to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

In the light of all this, we thought you may be concerned about how the communities in Ethiopia whose stories we have shared with you are doing – in particular, Abdella and Ibrahim. Fortunately, Abdella, lives in a very remote part of the region, away from the fighting. Unfortunately, we received news recently that the fighting has affected Ibrahim’s community in Tigray. We were relieved to hear that he and his family are alive, but this news painfully reminds us that innocent women, men and children are caught in the middle of conflict.

Your continued support for our “Walk for Water” has been amazing! We have another week or so left and have already raised £1000 walking almost 3.5 million steps! We hope that this week’s news shows you how much your support is needed in this remote, and often neglected part of the world, and the difference CAFOD, with your help, is making to the people who live there.

Please continue to remember these people in your prayers and of course you can always-