In Tigray, Ethiopia, conflict has destroyed health facilities, stopped vital immunisations and increased the rate of life-threatening malnutrition among children. The ongoing violence has forced thousands of families to flee to safety in Ethiopia and Sudan. At least 33,000 children in inaccessible parts of Tigray are severely malnourished and face death without immediate help.

EMERGENCY UPDATE:
An incomplete but troubling picture is emerging of severe and ongoing harm to children in Tigray, Ethiopia. The situation is critical for Tigray's 5.7 million inhabitants.
 
  • Children are among at least 64 civilians who were targeted and killed in an airstrike at a market in Togoga on 22 June. Even more civilians were seriously wounded.
  • There has been a four-fold increase in weekly admissions of children for the treatment of severe acute malnutrition. At least 33,000 children are severely malnourished.
  • Conflict has caused extensive damage to essential systems and services that children rely upon to survive, including water systems and health facilities.
  • Many families are experiencing pervasive fears of harm if they return home.
The children of Tigray must be protected from harm. Please, donate now to bring safety to children caught in conflict.
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An Ethiopian child who fled fighting in Tigray province sleeps at the Um Raquba camp after the long journey across the border into Sudan. © UNICEF/UN0371489/Hamid/AFP

Ethiopia has been facing a severe humanitarian crisis as a result of armed conflict in the Tigray province since November 2020. The conflict shows no sign of ceasing, with a deadly airstrike on a market in June seriously wounding and killing civilians – including children.

Families exposed to the violence face an impossible choice: remain in conflict-affected Tigray, or make the perilous journey to overcrowded refugee camps far from home. Will you protect them whatever they face?

 

2.3 million children inside Tigray still need urgent assistance

At least 220,000 people have been displaced within the region of Tigray itself and are still in danger of armed conflict. Restrictions on humanitarian access make it difficult to understand the true extent of the crisis for children across the region.

What we do know is already deeply troubling news for children caught in the conflict.

Safe water has almost been depleted. Education and immunisation services have completely ground to a halt. Bombings and armed forces are endangering families, who have very little access to health care if they are injured.

Life-threatening malnutrition is a major concern as food supplies run out.

UNICEF projects that 56,000 children under five in Tigray will need treatment in 2021 for severe acute malnutrition – almost six times higher than the annual average for the region. 40 per cent of pregnant and breastfeeding mothers are also at risk of malnutrition as the threat of famine looms. 
 
"This is a man-made
catastrophe. And
incredulously, things can
deteriorate further for
children as food insecurity
is expected to worsen over
the coming months. We
risk many more deaths if
crops cannot be planted."

Children fleeing to Sudan are facing extremely harsh conditions

Thousands of families have already been forced to flee bombs, discrimination and violence in Tigray. Some have travelled to the safer Amhara and Afar regions of Ethiopia, though many have crossed the border into neighbouring Sudan in search of refuge.

More families are expected to flee as the situation evolves, which is putting enormous pressure on refugee camps within Sudan. Even before this conflict, Sudan was home to over one million refugees and two million internally displaced Sudanese people.
 
"The very real risk of
disease outbreak - coupled
with poor access to water,
sanitation, hygiene and
health services - poses
potentially grave threats,
particularly for already
malnourished children."
HELP CHILDREN IN CRISIS


What is UNICEF doing to help?

UNICEF was one of the first humanitarian organisations to provide life-saving supplies to crisis-affected Tigrayans. We are on the ground in Tigray and Sudan, providing nutrition treatment, emergency health care and water and sanitation supplies to refugee families in need.

With help from supporters around the world, we’ve been able to screen 250,000 children under five for severe wasting since February, admitting 7,000 children for treatment. Our aim is to reach every child across the region with critical health, nutrition, water, sanitation, education and protection services before it is too late.

We won’t stop trying to reach the children of Tigray with urgent humanitarian assistance, but we need your support to provide the supplies families need to stay safe.

Donate today to deliver life-saving supplies to children caught in conflict.
 

Here's how you can make a difference for a child with a gift today:

 
  • Screen children for malnutrition and provide nutrition treatment;
  • Deliver water and hygiene supplies;
  • Send emergency medical supplies to those suffering from injuries;
  • Provide child protection services and psychosocial support for children suffering from shock, trauma and grief;
  • Reunite children who have been separated from their families.
Together we can
Help the Children of Tigray

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