The American Red Cross of Illinois feels it is essential to provide an update to the Ethiopian community in our region, about the ongoing crisis in the Tigray region as well as share our resources and what the organization is doing in the area to help.
The clashes and unrest between Tigray forces and the Ethiopian Government continue to grow, leading to hundreds of people reported missing and tens of thousands of civilians fleeing to neighboring countries. On Nov. 4, a state of emergency was declared by the Government of Ethiopia as the unrest continued to escalate into violence in the country's northernmost region.
Destruction and rising tension in the area have led to a blockade of communication, accompanied by a halt in transportation, including flights. According to UN sources, the entire region’s population has been impacted by the ongoing crisis, movement restrictions, and cash shortages; including 600,000 people depending on food assistance.
As a result of the crisis, the Ethiopian Red Cross’ Amhara and Tigray Regional Branch teams have mobilized early to respond to this emergency. The ERCS is providing ambulance services and first aid and trying to support families in search of missing relatives through their Restoring Link Services program.
The American Red Cross of Illinois encourages people looking to connect with their relatives in Tigray, to contact their International Services Department. Please be advised that given the current climate in the area, a blockade of communication and transportation, the Red Cross can only begin tracing inquiries as active searching is not currently possible.
For more information on beginning an inquiry for a loved one in the area, please contact Jemina Shikany, Regional Program Manager, International Services for Illinois Red Cross, at Jemina.firstname.lastname@example.org.