Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Dec 28 – Eritrean refugees in two camps in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia received a month’s worth of food supplies through a joint distribution by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and Ethiopia’s Agency for Refugees and Returnee Affairs (ARRA).
In coordination with Federal authorities, a convoy of 18 trucks delivered nearly 250 metric tons of corn soya blend, grains, pulses and vegetable oil to local humanitarian partners for distribution to 13,000 Eritrean refugees in Mai Ayni camp.
Another nearly 240 metric tons of food were delivered to Adi Harush refugee camp to support 12,170 refugees there. WFP, UNHCR, and ARRA provided monitoring support during both distributions.
“I am pleased we were able to replenish food supplies for refugees who last received two months’ worth of food in mid-October,” said Steven Were Omamo, WFP Representative and Country Director in Ethiopia. “Refugees in these camps depend on WFP food assistance for survival, and maintaining a consistent supply is a lifeline.”
Distributions began shortly after the food reached the camps, organized by ARRA, with support from WFP and UNHCR. They were completed on 23 December 2020.
“Families, women, men, children—even new-borns— have been cut off from supplies and essential services for many weeks, so this distribution was urgently needed,” said Ann Encontre, UNHCR’s Representative in Ethiopia.
“Thanks to the smooth partnership with ARRA and WFP, we were able to provide this aid. We now need to ensure that the same can be done for the remaining camps, as well as re-establish critical protection services and ensure basic needs like shelter, access to medical care and schools as quickly as possible. Every day, every hour counts,” she said.
“I am confident that UNHCR will be able to resume its full mandate in the camps very soon,” she added.