Half a Million Dollar Raised for Gedeo Victims

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It has been almost one year since Prime Minister Abiy took office after former PM Hailemariam submitted his resignation. Despite all the swift reform measures taken by the Abiy administration Ethiopia still remains the number one country in internal displacement exceeding countries like a war torn Syria.

A recent report by OCHA puts the number of Ethiopian needing urgent food assistance around 8.3 million while 1.3 billion dollars is needed from the international community to stabilize the situation. Oromia region is the worst hit region with 3.88 million regions while Somali followed with 1.8 million people.

The direst situation from IDP’s across the country is the case of Gedeo’s in West Guji region. The displacement of nearly 900,000 Gedeo’s from West Guji following persecution by OLF forces and followed by the resistance of ODP in providing urgent food assistance for victims ended up becoming the most trending topic on social media. According to DW report average 3 to 4 people are dying on a daily basis due to starvation. A report by Tom Gardner for the Guardian shares a gruesome detail of systematic persecution of Gedeo’s resulting in the exodus of Gedeo’s at a larger rate than Myanmar’s Rohingya.

Along with the tragic airplane crush of Ethiopian Airlines the case of Gedeo’s was trending exponentialy in the past few days. This resulted in a call for people to organize and mobilize themselves to provide food assistance to shelters were Gedeos’ were hosted. The most recognizable lifesaving effort was also fundraising on GoFundMe me launched by humanitarian, activist and philanthropist Tamagn Beyene. In just one day alone Tamagn was able to raise 500,000 USD but his GoFundMe was not the only one there were other two similar pages that raised around 50,000 USD. In the case of Tamagn Beyene more than 6111 people contributed and his page was shared 9200 times.

Following social media uproar Peace Minister Muferiat was able to pay a visit to an area where the victims were hosted. Also Health Minister Amir tweeted about sending an assessment team to the region.  But that didn’t stop for people from calling out the Abiy administration for failing to address the humanitarian crisis that is unfolding for the past 6 months.