CNEWA Canada

Connections With Msgr. Peter: Ethiopia’s Urgent Food Needs

Ethiopia today is facing an urgent need for food support, said Argaw Fantu, CNEWA’s regional director for Ethiopia, on last week’s “Connections With Msgr. Peter” livestream.

“Due to the impact of war, due to the economic crisis, the first important thing is food support, emergency food support,” said Mr. Fantu, speaking with CNEWA President Msgr. Peter Vaccari live from Addis Ababa over Zoom on 9 November.

The need is countrywide, he said, but many refugees and internally displaced persons have traveled to urban areas, like the capital, Addis Ababa, to escape ongoing violence and drought, creating a greater burden on city centers.

The Jesuit Refugee Service, which runs a center in Addis Ababa and receives support from CNEWA, has been providing food packages and medical care to refugees — often from Sudan and Eritrea — and to displaced persons, he said. 

With the peace agreement between the federal government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front signed on 2 November, Mr. Fantu said he hopes CNEWA will be able to resume support to the Tigray Region within the next few weeks.

“I think this will give way to reopen all the communications and also resume the provision of services, in particular the emergency supplies to Adigrat,” he said.

Mr. Fantu also spoke about CNEWA’s support of more than 100 church-run activities across Ethiopia, such as formation programs, health clinics, schools and orphanages, among them the Kidane Meheret Children’s Home, run by the Franciscan Sisters of the Heart of Jesus. In addition to receiving an education, nutritious meals and medical care for a variety of illnesses, including HIV and AIDS, the children at this home, once abandoned by their parents, are given a place to feel safe and loved.  

Msgr. Vaccari announced his pastoral trip to Ethiopia in late November to visit CNEWA’s office in Addis Ababa and various CNEWA-supported activities, as well as his plan to concelebrate the Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve in Bethlehem alongside Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Latin patriarch of Jerusalem.

As part of an ongoing prayer campaign that began on 1 November, Msgr. Vaccari encouraged viewers to submit the names of deceased loved ones whom they would like remembered during Mass at the CNEWA residence throughout November. Viewers should submit the names to

As we come upon the Thanksgiving season, Msgr. Vaccari asks viewers to keep CNEWA in mind this Giving Tuesday on 29 November.

“We all have so much to be so grateful for, so I ask you as you plan your own Giving Tuesday, to be thinking about giving CNEWA support.” In particular, Msgr. Vaccari points to formation as the area of focus for this Giving Tuesday. To support this mission, visit

The featured guest for the next episode of “Connections With Msgr. Peter” on 14 December will be Michael J.L. La Civita, CNEWA’s director of communications. Watch past episodes or sign up for the December livestream here.

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