Update on the Conflict in Ethiopia

Updated on Friday, November 19, 2021

We are thankful to report that since our initial update on November 4, the conflict between the Government of Ethiopia and the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) has not advanced further than initially reported on November 4.

At present, the two HopeChest CarePoints that have been directly impacted are:

  • Kombolcha Meserete Kristos CarePoint
  • Kombolcha CHDA CarePoint

Both CarePoints, located in Kombolcha, remain closed due to hostilities. We have had contact with the employees of the CarePoint and at present, they have found safe locations to wait out the conflict. We are still unable to make direct contact with families and children enrolled in our Kombolcha programs at this time. We continue to pray for their safety and provision.

The remaining 29 CarePoints in Ethiopia are currently safe, open, and operating normally. We have a heightened communication protocol in place between our Ethiopian Headquarters and all CarePoints as conditions may change at any given CarePoint, and we are taking appropriate steps to adapt to the situation if needed.

We have taken some additional precautionary and preparatory measures with the Abenezer CarePoint located in the Gebre Guracha area. The Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), a group labeled a terrorist organization by the Ethiopian Government, have been a fringe element in the Gebre Guracha area over several years, causing occasional disturbances. Recently, the OLF aligned itself with the TPLF and has increased their threats of disrupting markets and transportation corridors in and around Gebre Guracha. While the Abenezer CarePoint is open and operational, our preparatory measures include providing multiple weeks’ worth of food staples and hygiene supplies to families in our program to help them weather hostilities that may interfere with safe access to markets. We are thankful to the U.S. community partnered with Abenezer for their rapid response to raise funds to support this initiative.

Our Ethiopia and U.S. leadership team has been engaged in preparing a wide array of contingency plans for a variety of scenarios. Included in these plans are the training and communication with CarePoint staff on preparation and emergency response actions in the event of hostilities entering their servicing area; development of early warning networks in and around our CarePoints which includes pre-conflict relationship building with key government officials; and assessing the capacity and capability of each CarePoint to respond as relief centers if safety of supplies and staff is not compromised and only if needed.

Our staff report that while concerns have increased in the Addis Ababa area, the level of apprehension of most citizens is reasonable, and life, at the moment, continues normally and peacefully.

And as mentioned above, the remaining 29 CarePoints are still operating and, at present, under no direct threat of the larger, active conflict.

We are hopeful that hostilities in the north will cease and pray that peaceful resolution will prevail.

As previously stated, we will continue to provide factual updates, as we know them. If your partnered CarePoint encounters a change in their ability to operate “normally,” you will be notified by email (if you have not opted out of being contacted by email). We will also update information here at this page.

Thank you for your continued prayers for the children, their families and all of Ethiopia!

In His grip,

Ken Sparks
CEO & President
Children’s HopeChest

Dear HopeChest Friends,

The growing conflict in Ethiopia has now spread further south in the country and is beginning to impact some HopeChest CarePoints.

With 31 CarePoints in Ethiopia and thousands of individuals like you who are connected to children and their families through partnership at a HopeChest CarePoint, we’ve created this landing page to allow us to provide high level communication with all stakeholders. If your CarePoint becomes directly impacted by the conflict, we will be in contact with you directly, via email.

A Little History

From 1991 to 2018, Ethiopia was governed by the EPRDF (Ethiopia People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front) which was founded by a couple of groups, one of which is the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (known as TPLF). In 2018, the government changed to the duly elected Prosperity Party led by Prime Minister Ahmed Abiy.

Since November 2020, there has been an on-going conflict between the TPLF and the new Ethiopian Government. This conflict had been primarily contained to the northern part of Ethiopia. Recently, the TPLF has expanded the conflict by advancing on other towns and cities in the north and continues to move south.

Impact on HopeChest CarePoints

Over the weekend of October 30-31, you may have seen or heard the active conflict has expanded to new areas—including the city of Kombolcha where HopeChest operates two CarePoints.

Currently, the following CarePoints have been directly impacted:

  • Kombolcha Meserete Kristos CarePoint
  • Kombolcha CHDA CarePoint
(we will update and list any additional CarePoints affected by the conflict here, if your CarePoint is not listed, it is currently active and operating)

Because of the active conflict, operations of the CarePoints noted above have been temporarily suspended and staff have taken appropriate action for personal safety and are unable to work and check on specific children and families.

As is often the case in conflict zones, communication is extremely challenging or completely cut-off. Our ability to provide specific reports on any of the children in our program or their families, and/or gather information, is dependent upon the level of conflict activity and communication capacity. And we hope you understand the safety of staff, children, and their families is our paramount concern in such situations.

If we receive communication about specific children and/or their families, we will proactively communicate directly with you if you are their active sponsor. Please insure that HopeChest generated email can reach your inbox and is not inadvertently going to a spam inbox.

Sponsorship Funds

We humbly request that you continue to provide your monthly sponsorship gifts. They will be accumulated and held here in the United States for any CarePoint with suspended operations, with the intention to support physical and emotional relief efforts for the families in our program when it is feasible and safe to provide such relief, and/or resume CarePoint operations and programming. We know that emergency-aid-related efforts and restarting CarePoint operations will incur significantly higher costs than our “normal” CarePoint operations and your continued support will position us to respond rapidly when and where we can.

We covet your prayers for Ethiopia, for the communities affected, and for every one of the beneficiary children and their families during this very trying time. The Ethiopian staff continues to provide regular field updates to the US headquarters office and we will communicate when we have factual and updated information.

Thank you for your love and care for the children, their families, and the country of Ethiopia.

In His grip,

Ken Sparks
CEO & President
Children’s HopeChest

Merry Christmas from all of us here at Children’s HopeChest!

Merry Christmas from all of us here at Children’s HopeChest! Donate this Christmas season to empower impoverished children all over the world and help them flourish!