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14-12-2020 | Latest News , Africa

Ethiopia: Aid arrives in Mekelle to fortify paralyzed health care facilities


ICRC teams began to distribute medical supplies today (14 December 2020) to Ayder Hospital, the Regional Health Bureau, and the ERCS pharmacy in Mekelle, the Tigray State capital, Ethiopia.   The supplies will help care for more than 400 trauma patients, treat those with chronic and routine medical conditions.

In addition, ICRC’s team in Mekelle has been working to get the hospital fuel to run its generator as well as water.

ICRC’s Head of Operations in Mekelle, Maria Soledad Rueda Garcia said, “This is a huge team work with our Red Cross volunteers.”

Health care facilities there have become paralyzed after supplies of drugs and basics like surgical gloves ran out. It is the first international aid to arrive in Mekelle since fighting erupted in Tigray more than one month ago.

Ayder Hospital closed its intensive care unit and surgical theatre due to the lack of medical supplies and fuel to run the generator, which the units depend on for electricity. In late November, the hospital received an influx of people wounded in fighting. It has also struggled to provide care for chronic and routine medical needs, including diabetes, dialysis, and maternity and delivery services. It is the main referral hospital for Mekelle’s 500,000 people.

The Federal Ministry of Health has also delivered additional medical supplies to Ayder Hospital.  

The Red Cross convoy also brought blankets, tarpaulins, kitchen sets, clothes, soap, and jerrycans that can help about 1,000 families forced from their homes by the fighting as well as equipment to improve access to water and sanitation.

At the same time, ICRC teams are in North Amhara and West Tigray, where they are distributing relief items to displaced families and assessing the humanitarian needs caused by the fighting. The ICRC has so far provided medicines and medical supplies to seven health care facilities in Amhara that have received patients injured in fighting. In addition to medical supplies, the ICRC is working with hospitals to support the long-term physical rehabilitation needs of people who suffered amputations because of weapon-related injuries.

The ICRC counts on the financial support of the international community to deliver humanitarian assistance in Ethiopia. The ICRC has an overall budget of CHF 27 million in Ethiopia, of which CHF 10 million has not been funded.

For further information, please contact:

Zewdu Ayalew, ICRC Addis Ababa, , +251 911 614 336

Aurélie Lachant, ICRC Geneva, , +41 79 244 6405

or visit our website: 


Location: Mekelle, Tigray State capital, Ethiopia

Length: 0:58

Camera: mobile phone footage - horizontal

Filming date: 12.12.2020

Copyright: ICRC access all

On Screen Credit: ICRC or logo

00:00 - 00:09

Trucks winding up roads

00:09 – 00:22

SOUNDBITE: Maria Soledad Rueda Garcia, Head of ICRC’s Operations in Mekelle (in English)

“This is exciting.  The ICRC and the Ethiopian Red Cross trucks arrived and so here we are in Mekelle.”

00:22 – 00:24

Pan of trucks

00:25 – 00:42

SOUNDBITE: Maria Soledad Rueda Garcia, Head of ICRC’s Operations in Mekelle (in English)

“Huge team work to offload all the items.  All our Red Cross volunteers - uploading in motion for the assistance of the population in the region.”

00:43 – 00:58

Red Cross volunteers putting supplies in warehouse

END 00:58


Duration : 59s
Size : 61.8 MB
On Screen Credit: ICRC or logo

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