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Etiopia

The bloodiest war in recent years? This is not Ukraine or Syria.

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Up to 600,000 civilians died there in just two years of conflict. The war in Ethiopia that ended last year is definitely the bloodiest war in recent years, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, support for the country has so far been limited. We are trying to change this situation and have started helping malnourished newborns at the hospital in Woliso.

Ethiopia is one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. According to UN data, over 2,400,000 people need help there – most of them in the context of food and the threat of malnutrition and hunger. Hunger could have caused the death of up to half of the victims of the civil war that tore the country apart from the end of 2020 to October 2022. According to estimates by researchers at the University of Ghent1, based, among others, on based on satellite images of farmlands and reports of civilian massacres, the total number of civilian victims of the conflict may reach up to 600,000 people.

This would mean that the conflict in Ethiopia would be the bloodiest conflict of the 21st century, and the number of civilian victims could only be compared to the war in Syria that has been going on for over 12 years – comments Małgorzata Olasińska-Chart from the Polish Medical Mission – Malnutrition and hunger hit the weakest hardest, i.e. newborns. That’s why we direct our help to the youngest children, because whether we help them will determine their health and life.

Access to medical care for the average Ethiopian is very limited. The ratio of doctors to patients in this country is 1:50,000 and nurses 1:5,000, which is the lowest in Sub-Saharan Africa. The diverse geography of the Horn of Africa and difficulties in traveling the distance between home and hospital pose a threat to the youngest patients. The situation was not improved by the civil war, and malnutrition was also affected by droughts – for five years in a row, during the rainy season, rainfall was very low and insufficient for normal agriculture.

We support a specific hospital in the city of Woliso, where 850 newborns will initially be provided with medical care and nutrition – adds Małgorzata Olasińska-Chart – There are also plans to purchase life-saving equipment, such as oxygen concentrators and incubators.

Droughts, which are further deepening the food crisis in the Horn of Africa, are, according to researchers, clearly linked to climate warming. According to one study2, their frequency – compared to the times when human activity did not directly affect the climate – increased by up to 100 times.

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