IRC Collaborates Sudanese Authorities to Expand Aid Delivery to Ethiopian Refugees

The International Rescue Committee says it will support Sudanese authorities deploy emergency services in the camps of Um Rakuba and Tenetba, where thousands of Ethiopians are seeking refuge in Ethiopia’s Tigray region after fleeing the conflict.

Since the beginning of the Tigray conflict in early November, more than 60,000 individuals have crossed the border from Ethiopia into eastern Sudan, the IRC said in a statement Wednesday.

Nearly half of the refugees are children, the IRC said, many of whom have lost touch with their relatives as they fled the conflict.

Some 20,000 refugees will be relocated to Um Rakuba to reduce overcrowding in the newly built Tenetba camp, where about 265 tents have been erected, the IRC said.

“The needs are extremely high and the logistics of transferring refugees to the camps because of the distance from the border plus inadequate provisions have slowed delivery of aid to those in need,” said Carolyne Kanaiza, the IRC east Sudan emergency response director.

Kanaiza said the IRC will build 105 emergency latrines and 92 shared bathing spaces with proper waste management systems in order to prevent an outbreak of COVID-19 or any other diseases at the camps.

The IRC says it has also started a program to prevent abuse and exploitation in order to protect women, girls and children who are disproportionately impacted by wars and disasters.

“We have been engaging with female refugees to identify needs and will be providing women protection services that include psychological support and gender-based violence services,” said Kanaiza.

The aid provider will also allocate hygiene kits and menstrual management kits for women and girls at the camps.

Fighting in the northern Tigray region between Ethiopian federal forces and a rebel force has killed thousands of people and displaced around 950,000. Despite Ethiopian government assurances that combat is over, many say it is not safe to return to their homes.

According to VOA News, the refugees with basic needs like food and water are assisted by many international and local organizations.

To ensure that aid and life-saving services reach those affected by the conflict, the IRC has called for a cease-fire.

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