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20/06 • ETHIOPIA

  • June 20, 2024

Drought and Civil War in Ethiopia. 

By guest contributor Ric Foxley.

Sustained drought combined with ongoing civil conflict has created deep food insecurity and social disruption for the people of Ethiopia.

The ancient land of Ethiopia is huge -  at 1,112,000 sq kms, it's bigger than Spain & France combined. With 129 million people, Ethiopia is the 13th most populous country in the world. Landlocked and sitting at around 3,000m above sea level, it is home to 84 different ethnic groups and Christianity is the dominant religion. 

Many of these people were just getting back onto their feet following the Tigray War; the two-year civil war ended in a peace agreement that brought the conflict to some sort of ending. However, in April 2023, the Federal Government in Addis announced they had decided to disarm regional (tribal) militias in favour of a centralised Army.

Ethiopia is organised into 10 regions that operate with a degree of autonomy, including their own armed forces and language. Federal forces control the towns and cities, while the Regional militia (FANO) controls the countryside. Sporadic inter-ethnic fighting has been breaking out across the country, particularly in the Amhara region. The lives of ordinary people are being disrupted and destroyed. Infrastructure is wrecked, travel is almost impossible, and the conflict shows no sign of ending any time soon.

The Amhara Region has a population of more than 50 million people. It's also where the Anglican Missions programme, Bricks For Life, is located. Amhara Region is one of the main food producing areas in the country, so the fighting is resulting in major food chain disruption. Compounding the civil war is the bite of climate change. Ethiopia's drought in the south is the worst many have ever experienced. People here are foraging every last grain and berry that they can get from the arid landscape. In a place where people depend on animals for their living, many have seen up to 80% of their livestock die due to drought conditions.

Food aid is beginning to arrive, but, for some, it may be too late. Millions face acute food insecurity in the region. The simmering ebb and flow of civil war, the increasing rate of inflation and harsh weather conditions continue to add to the list of challenges the country faces.

 

Prayer points: 

For an end to the ongoing civil war in the north, and for reconciliation between all parties, including Government, that works for the benefit of all Ethiopians  
For the funding and distribution of aid that is so desperately needed to reach the millions of people whose lives have been disrupted over the past 4 years. 
For relief from the drought in the south and for good harvests and the rebuilding of animal stocks. 


Click here for a printable version of Pray the News.

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