Conflicts in northern Ethiopia hit children hardest

Conflict in northern Ethiopia is escalating, causing large-scale displacement. Children are being separated from their families, going hungry and desperate to return to school.

Conflict in northern Ethiopia is escalating, causing large scale displacement. In the regions of Tigray, Afar and Amhara, 9.4 million people need food assistance, while millions have been displaced by fighting. The World Food Programme has warned that the passage of life-saving assistance is being blocked by intense fighting.

When fighting broke out in her village in Amhara region, Northern Ethiopia, Yannet* fled with her mother and siblings. “When the explosion happened, I just kept on running, hoping my family was behind me. They weren’t,” says 14-year-old Yannet.

“When I looked back, they were not there. I think they ran in a different direction when the explosion happened and that’s when we became separated.

“I walked for four days and nights to get here [a journey of 100km]. I had no food and so to survive, I collected water from the river using plastic bottles. When I came to this town, I slept on the streets until I found a displacement camp.”

Eating every day is not guaranteed for Yannet, who says she sometimes tries to sleep so she doesn’t have to feel hungry. “I haven’t had food since yesterday. I was so hungry, I got a headache.”

The grade four student is, however, hopeful for a better future. “I want to finish my education, become a nurse and return home to help my community.”

Source: Plan International

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