Aid Agencies Assist Thousands of Ethiopian Refugees in Sudan

Aid Agencies Assist Thousands of Ethiopian Refugees in Sudan
Life saving supplies for 3,000 families were distributed in Hamdayet

Aid workers are racing against time to provide temporary shelter for over 16,000 Ethiopian refugees in Sudan’s eastern refugee settlements of Um Rakuba and Tunaydbah who were impacted by storms that swept away their belongings, and destroyed infrastructure.

The storms, which started in late May gathered momentum in June, demolishing nearly 4,000 out of 10,000 individual family tents in Sudan

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and its partners are repairing and reinforcing shelters to ensure that affected families have access to clean water and safe latrines.

The storms are projected to intensify further during the rainy season, which continues through July to October.

UNHCR and partners are currently finalising construction and rehabilitation of some 60 kilometres of roads to both Um Rakuba and Tunaydbah, which is critical to ensure access to the camps as well as to about 15 host community villages throughout the rainy season.

The UNCHR and at least 30 private aid agencies are revising an earlier appeal upwards to reflect the current emergency. They are calling for $182 million, an increase of $33 million.

More drainage systems in the two sites have been dug to mitigate the risks of further flooding. They are also accelerating work by erecting makeshift schools, as well as permanent latrines and showers.  

There are plans to erect small round huts(tukuls) made from mud bricks and thatch, typical of the region after the rainy season is over. The bricks can only dry and solidify properly when the rains are over. 

Climate changes and sudden extreme weather in the region is increasing the risks for displaced and vulnerable people forced to flee conflict.

Last year, desert locusts in eastern Ethiopia and Somalia damaged about 200,000 ha of cropland and caused a cereal loss of over 356,000 tonnes.

In the same period, heavy seasonal rains caused flash floods and rivers to burst their banks, affecting hundreds of thousands of internally displaced people, refugees and host communities in Sudan.

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