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Greg Dorey


Part of UK in Ethiopia

1st January 2015

Further British aid for Ethiopian response to refugees fleeing South Sudan

Half a million South Sudanese refugees who have fled the continuing fighting in #SouthSudan have settled in #Ethiopia, #Kenya and #Uganda. Among them, more than 190,000 refugees have arrived in Ethiopia alone, almost all of them in #Gambella region, since conflict broke out in December 2013.

Continuing insecurity and logistical constraints due to heavy rains have hampered the delivery of food and other essential items to the refugees. A quarter of those reaching the camps in the three countries are suffering from acute malnutrition. The problems don’t end when the refugees escape the conflict for the hospitality of their neighbours either. Rains and floods that hit the Gambella camps in September made roads impassable and interrupted supply of food and drinking water. Flooding also posed serious public health threats, including possible outbreaks of #malaria, #Hepatitis E and #cholera.

The #UK has been providing humanitarian aid to the refugees since the outset of fighting. We recently committed an additional £16.4 million. £7.4 million of this will be given to #UNHCR and #WFP to assist work in Ethiopia. It includes provision of solar powered lamps to reduce the risk of violence against women and girls by allowing them to move safely at night. It will also cover the cost of food, shelter and sanitation.

This new funding brings our support for refugees that have fled South Sudan to over £58 million since December 2013 – as well as £130 million we are spending on the 1.4 million people who have been displaced from their homes but remain in the country. Overall, we have been able to provide more than 100,000 people with food; more than 400,000 people with livelihoods support; and more than 170,000 people with clean water. Our support was also expanded from improved hygiene and sanitation for 180,000 refugees to providing health support for more than 100,000 people.

Although this additional funding is going to help ensure families have their basic needs met, we believe that only a political solution to the conflict will allow them the peace and security they badly need and deserve – and enable them to rebuild shattered lives. They deserve no less from their leaders.