Ethiopia Tigray conflict

Read about the escalating crisis in northern Ethiopia and how we’re helping.

What is happening in northern Ethiopia?

On 4 November 2020, escalating tension between Ethiopia’s federal government and the regional leadership in Tigray erupted into armed conflict.

Formal military operations ceased when the Tigrayan capital of Mekelle was captured by government forces at the end of November.

But millions of people remain at risk from food shortages, inadequate shelter and continued insecurity. On top of this, families are also facing the constant threat of coronavirus.

We are extremely concerned by the emerging humanitarian crisis in Northern Ethiopia. We stand ready to respond, with vital emergency shelter supplies on their way.

Where is Tigray?

Tigray is the northernmost region of Ethiopia.

It is the homeland of the Tigrayan, Irob and Kunama peoples.

Before this latest conflict, Tigray was already home to 100,000 internally displaced people and 96,000 refugees from neighbouring Eritrea.

The region has also suffered high levels of food insecurity.

It’s estimated that around 1.2 million people have been displaced as a result of this conflict.


Ethiopia map highlighting Tigray and Oromia

Who is affected?

More than 55,000 people have fled over the border into neighbouring Sudan. Many more are displaced within the region.

It’s difficult to know exactly how many people have fled their homes within Tigray, as communications from the region have been very limited for some time.

Tigray was also badly hit by a recent infestation of locusts which devastated crops and pasture, destroying livelihoods and leaving people with little food.

It’s estimated that between 2 and 4.5 million people need urgent assistance there.

How is ShelterBox helping?

Woman in Ethiopia wearing a face mask and sat down on the ground
Bulutna, pictured in a yellow scarf, was amongst the people who received ShelterBox aid in 2020.

We have supported over 51,000 people affected by conflict in Ethiopia since 2018.

Now Tigray – a region that was already in desperate need of support – is facing a humanitarian catastrophe.

We have aid in-country and more on the way, and we stand ready to respond.

We will be supporting displaced people in Northern Ethiopia with emergency shelter, household essentials and hygiene items in response to this crisis.

We’ll be providing tarpaulins, rope, blankets, sleeping mats, mosquito nets, water carriers, carry sacks and kitchen sets. Families will also receive washbasins, soap, and water jugs, to help prevent a devastating outbreak of coronavirus.

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Our work won’t stop until we see a world where no family is left without shelter in the face of a devastating disaster or conflict.

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