Crucial aid blocked from reaching Tigray region

By October 21, 2021

Ethiopia (MNN) — In the embattled Tigray region of Ethiopia, continued civil war threatens the population with famine and starvation.

Pastor Eric Foley with The Voice of the Martyrs Korea works with Christians in Ethiopia and neighboring Eritrea. He says fighting in the region has calmed down, but the resulting stalemate is cutting off supplies into Tigray. Ethiopian forces have blocked access points into the region and even destroyed bridges.

Plus, people can’t access their bank accounts. Foley says, “What many Tigrayan people are doing is they’re going to Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. They’re attempting to access their funds there. Or they’re attempting to find work so that they can then transport money and food back to Tigray.”

“Here’s the problem: that stranglehold on the Tigray region is preventing Tigrayans from returning from Addis Ababa to care for their families.”

The U.S. pledged an additional $26 million of aid to address the Tigray Crisis last week.

The local church

But Foley says the biggest work is being done with the smallest amounts of money: that shared by Christians with each other and the most vulnerable. “One thing that we’re still seeing is Tigrayan Christians using what little food resources they have to share those food resources with Eritrean refugees. And that has to be the Holy Spirit at work.”

These camps hold people who fled Eritrea into the bordering Tigray region. Eritrea, known for an oppressive government, has been called the North Korea of Africa.

Foley says the global Church can learn from the example of Tigrayan Christians. “Truly in the kingdom of God, we should not overlook Christians, particularly Christians in closed countries or settings of persecution. Because they are experts at knowing how to navigate through these situations.”

Pray this work would provide for many and show them the love of Jesus.



The header photo shows Tigrayans holding a funeral service at a church for people killed in the war. (Photo courtesy of Yonatan Zebdeows, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)