The terrorist groups, TPLF and Shene, with their combined conspiracies, have killed thousands of innocent civilians, have left many people disabled, and the rest were forced hundreds of thousands citizens to flee from their living places to the adjacent areas, caused them to lead miserable life, and unprecedented destruction on health and education facilities, including public and private service rendering institutions.
Understanding the extent of the problem and the importance of joining hands, many Ethiopians living at home and abroad as well as partners are working determinedly and supporting the government’s rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts.
As a result, encouraging improvements are carried out. For instance, health facilities and schools which were vandalized and destroyed have recommenced rendering services. For instance, including Kombolcha General Hospital, which was ransacked and destroyed by TPLF fighters, over 30 health institutions were restored and have restarted providing services for the public.
The hospital has already started providing emergency services, carrying out surgery, and services for pregnant women after it was reequipped by equipment, material and medicines subsequent to the support gained from Alert Hospital. Not only that, 90 percent of the hospital workforce has returned to their post and is committed to serve the community more than ever, as sources indicate.
In similar manner, though not all, people who were displaced from their areas are returning to their former places. However, as the level and magnitude of the looting and destruction caused by the insurgents is enormous, rehabilitating and rebuilding vandalized and damaged infrastructures and facilities demand concerted efforts of all.
However, according to Prof. Bizunesh Tamiru, any effort exerted by the Diaspora community to rehabilitate victims affected by the war and rebuilding war-torn institutions and infrastructures should be guided by a consistent approach.
Prof. Bizunesh, who lives in France, came to Ethiopia respecting ‘The Great Ethiopian Homecoming Challenge’ made by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
She also visited areas looted and destroyed by the war waged by the terrorist TPLF insurgents in Amhara and Afar states. Following her tour and the extent of the damage, she underscored as the support the Diaspora community is providing should not be in scattered way. “The support should be guided and conducted in well organized and consistent manner.”
As to her, following the tour she made in war-plagued areas, she was motivated to conduct a study how to rehabilitate the affected sections of the society.
Prof. Bizunesh, who is also a Geographer at one of the universities in France, her study focuses on growth and vulnerability of a given society. Including Ethiopia, she conducted various researches on countries with regard to this same topic. Currently, she is carrying out activities to conduct a study on the situation in collaboration with Debre Birhan University and professionals who came to Ethiopia at this juncture in time and mentioning that the human and material damages she has observed in her field visit at both states are too distressing. Prof. Bizunesh said, the Diaspora community should backup the rehabilitation and reconstruction effort in more organized, coordinated and well managed manner than before. Establishing an endowment trust that enables the Diaspora community to contribute his/her share and to rebuilding war torn institutions and rehabilitating victims is crucial.
As to her, such kind of system would heighten the participation of the private sector in humanitarian aid, motivate the Diaspora to send money permanently without any hesitation and build trust.
“Even in France, where I live, the social security system is run by the private sector, not by the government. And in Ethiopia, if such an independent aid institution is established, it would have greater benefits in times of crisis,” she opined.
She also forwarded her suggestion underscoring the importance of revising the political and policy essence of the education system so as to curb sense of conflict and hostility; uphold unity, mutual respect and create a united society in Ethiopia.
Recently, the Ethiopian Diaspora Agency had organized a forum to discuss what is expected of Ethiopians in the Diaspora to support rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts in areas that are affected by the conflict in the northern part of Ethiopia.
According to MoFA, the forum drew high-level government officials and a number of Ethiopian Diaspora who came to Ethiopia responding to ‘The Great Ethiopian Homecoming Challenge’.
Deputy Director of the Ethiopian Diaspora Agency, Dr. Mohamed Idris, said the agency organized the forum to help the Ethiopian Diaspora understand the extent of the damage and work on ways to extend their support in a sustainable manner.
BY STAFF REPORTER
THE FRIDAY 21 JANUARY 2022