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Learn what drives our efforts

Here's a little bit about Tigray

Tigray is a land-locked region located in the highlands of northern Ethiopia. It is home to the Axumite Empire, one of the oldest civilizations in the history of humankind. The region has a semi-arid climate and has unfortunately been the battleground of several wars, including one today, which severely affects the livelihood of Tigrayans.

History & Facts

Current Challenges


Interesting facts about Tigray

There are over 288 named sandstone mountains in Tigray and over 200 rock-hewn churches

First Christian nation in Africa in 400 A.D 

Established Al-Nejashi, the first Mosque in Africa in7th century

In Aksum, Tigray a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Aksumite Empire, was one of the most powerful empires and civilizations in the world that panned all the way to Yemen and controlled the Red Sea trade routes

The Aksumite currency was Africa's sole native currency that was not influenced by other cultures such as the Romans or Greeks.

The site of Yeha in Tigray preserves a palace, a temple, tombs of kings, and intact underground archeological structures that date back to the 8th & 7th centuries BC.

Tigray developed its own alphabet called Ge'ez. It is still being used today as the liturgical language of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.

Tigray won the "Gold Future Policy Award" for having the world's best policies to combat desertification and land degradation

Current Challenges: Tigray War (2020-Today)

TDA had played a key role in developing Tigray until the current Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed, waged a genocidal war on Tigray in November 2020.  Since the war began, the Ethiopian government, the Eritrean military, and Amhara forces have deliberately destroyed Tigray’s critical infrastructure that is vital to everyday life, including farms, educational institutions, medical facilities, factories, transportation, financial institutions, and commerce.

Man-Made Famine

Over 5.2 million Tigrayans are at risk of starvation as a result of the genocidal war in Tigray. The deliberate destruction of food access by burning crops and foodstuffs, restricting humanitarian aid, and depriving access to livestock as well as disrupting water supply, has resulted in a man-made famine. With Tigrayan Defence Forces (TDF) having controlled most of Tigray since late-June 2021, the Ethiopian government and Amhara militia continue to work tirelessly to block aid from entering Tigray and reaching millions who are at risk of starvation.

Man-Made Famine

Destroyed Healthcare Facilities

During the genocidal war on Tigray, Tigrayan hospitals and clinics have been struck by artillery or looted of their equipment, medications, and other essential items. A March 2021 report by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) found that 70 percent of health facilities they visited in Tigray had been vandalized and had their equipment looted. The extent of the vandalization led MSF to assert that these were deliberate attacks that were intended to make health facilities non-functional.

Destroyed Healthcare Facilities

Destroyed Educational Facilities

Primary and secondary schools throughout Tigray have been shelled and looted. Higher education institutions, such as Mekelle University, Meles Academy University, and Shire University have also been targeted by militarized violence. Many schools have been looted, set on fire, occupied, and bombed. For example, laboratory equipment and computers from Axum University were stolen by Eritrean forces before the school was deliberately destroyed by fires and bombed. 

Destroyed Educational Facilities

Disrupted Economic Infrastructure

Factories in Tigray once employed 45,000 people and produced a range of products, including garments, flour, pharmaceuticals, marble and consumer goods. According to the evidence in a World Peace Foundation report, every single one has been pillaged, and what could not be taken away has been burned. An April 2021 piece by World Politics Review describes hotels that once thrived from a steady flow of tourists have been stripped bare.

Disrupted Economic Infrastructure

Looting and Asset Stripping

There has been widespread pillaging and looting, often reaching systematic asset-stripping. Ethiopian federal forces in the region have taken cash from banks, government offices, microfinance institutions, and agricultural and water offices, almost all of which belong to the Tigrayan regional government or people. Eritrean forces have looted everything and anything from personal belongings to businesses and heavy machinery. Some specific examples include household goods (e.g. mattresses), grain from stores, cars, ambulances and generators.

Looting and Asset Stripping

Tigray War's Impact in Numbers as of 2/21/22

7 million people facing food insecurity 

22,000 victims of sexual violance 

2.3 million children need emergency-life saving assistance

2.4 million people displaced

70% people have no access to safe drinking water through durable solution

99.9% didn't participate in capacity building 

Help Tigray Today

Tigrayans need immediate assistance to alleviate the devastations of the war and help rebuild Tigray. Tigray needs your help at this critical time in history. This is your chance to help those in need.
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