Addis Abeba – Thousands of individuals taking shelter at the Jara Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) center located in the North Wollo Zone of the Amhara region are currently grappling with a critical shortage of food, which has endured for a continuous period of two months.
These individuals displaced from the Oromia and Benishangul Gumuz regions conveyed their distress via a peaceful demonstration last week, drawing attention to the critical deficiency in food aid.
IDPs residing at Jara used to receive a monthly ration of 15 kilogram of wheat flour and half a liter of oil per person.
Nevertheless, it has been over two months since they last received the ration, pushing the IDPs to the brink of starvation.
In an interview with Addis Standard, Alemu Yimer, the head of the North Wollo Disaster Prevention and Food Security Office, acknowledged the food shortage and revealed that the district has notified regional authorities.
He also provided assurance that humanitarian aid is anticipated to arrive this week to mitigate the crisis.
Nevertheless, displaced individuals have characterized the situation as critical.
Selati Alemu, a 61-year-old father of four who was displaced from the Kiremu district in East Wollega Zone two years ago, articulated the urgency of the circumstances. His wife, afflicted with tuberculosis, requires nutritious food and proper medical treatment, both of which are currently unavailable due to the food shortage.
Selati appealed for prompt government intervention, stressing the potentially dire consequences if aid is not delivered promptly. “The only hope lies in humanitarian aid, which has been absent for two consecutive months. I need to feed my children,” he added.
Ahmed Awel, another displaced individual from East Wollega, underscored the pervasive suffering experienced by IDPs, encompassing children, pregnant women, and the elderly, who endure excruciating moments due to hunger.
“We are in peril and require an urgent response from concerned entities, particularly the government,” stated Ahmed.
In a recent report by Addis Standard, local authorities have compounded the distress of the diplaced individuals at the Jara center by issuing a directive demanding their prompt evacuation, thereby introducing a new layer of uncertainty for these vulnerable individuals who are already grappling with the ongoing conflict in the Oromia region.
Alemu addressed the matter of repatriating IDPs to their homes, indicating that the Federal Disaster Risk Management Commission is overseeing the situation. “Assessment teams will be dispatched to the area, and a repatriation program will be initiated following a comprehensive evaluation,” he stated.
Since 2018, over 10,000 individuals have sought refuge at the Jara camp, fleeing conflicts primarily in various zones of the Oromia region. AS