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Thousands of malnourished Tigray children dying, BBC finds

Catherine Byaruhanga
Friday October 21, 2022

Internally displaced persons camps (IDP camps) have been set up to help people fleeing the conflict

The BBC has found that nearly 2,450 severely malnourished children have died in Ethiopia’s Tigray region since last year, as the civil war there escalates.

The discovery comes despite communications being cut off in Tigray and access restricted by the central government.

In the three years before the conflict, a total of 508 severely malnourished children died, but by last year that number stood at over 1,900 and nearly 2,500 this year.

Doctors believe the true figure is higher because most sick children do not get to hospital due to the conflict and a lack of fuel for transport.

The region has been cut off for many months, leaving a catastrophic humanitarian situation, with thousands of people killed, and over 2 million displaced.

On Wednesday, the head of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who is Tigrayan, warned that there was a "very narrow window to prevent genocide in Tigray".

The Ethiopian government has previously accused the head of the WHO of abusing his position.

Ethiopian forces supported by Eritrea have been engaged in a power struggle with Tigrayan regional forces for nearly two years.

New night-time satellite images from Nasa, shared with the BBC show how light levels have dropped in key cities in Tigray.

This is an indication that they have been cut from the national power grid – compounding a worsening humanitarian crisis.

Ethiopia’s central government denies blocking Tigray from key resources and aid.


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