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Doctors are begging for food in war-torn Tigray amid Ethiopia civil war

The Ethiopian civil war has left people in Tigray in need of food, medicine

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An Ethiopian woman scoops up yellow split peas.

An Ethiopian woman scoops up portions of yellow split peas to be allocated to waiting families after it was distributed by the Relief Society of Tigray in the town of Agula, in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia, on May 8, 2021.

Ben Curtis, Associated Press

Doctors and nurses inside Ethiopia’s war-torn Tigray region have been left begging for food as the Ethiopian civil war has raged on.

The news: Medics told BBC News that they have been left to beg for their own food to feed themselves. They’ve also been left unpaid for eight months.

What they’re saying: “Most have cut the number of meals they can take per day. Food oil, vegetables, grains — the price has soared so high that it is unthinkable to buy. Some have started begging for food,” one doctor told BBC News.

State of play: The Ethiopian federal government has been battling rebels from Tigray’s northern region since November 2020, as the Deseret News reported.

  • Thousands of people have died in the conflict.
  • Tigray has been cut off from aid and medical supplies.
  • Banks have also been shut down, which has limited how people can pay others.

Flashback: Back in November 2021, the World Food Programme (WFP) said that close to 9.4 million people need humanitarian food assistance in northern Ethiopia because of the ongoing conflict.

  • The WFP said close to 50% of pregnant and breastfeeding women in the Amhara and Tigray regions were found to be malnourished.
  • About 16% to 28% of children in the northern regions were seen to be malnourished.
  • “It is vital that food assistance can cross battle lines to reach families in need,” the WFP said.

Correction: This article previously had a photo that showed rescuers working at the scene of an Ethiopian Airlines flight crash near Bishoftu, or Debre Zeit, south of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Monday, March 11, 2019.