El Gedaref / Khartoum / New York — More than 40,000 Ethiopian refugees fleeing the civil war in Tigray have crossed the border into Sudan. Stéphane Dujarric, spokesperson for the United Nations' Secretary‑General, said at a press briefing yesterday that there is not enough shelter capacity to meet the growing needs.
Amira El Gaddal, Director of the El Gedaref Ministry of Health and Social Development reported yesterday, that there are cases of suspected COVID-19 among the refugees from Tigray. Other refugee have HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, tuberculosis, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
There are by far not enough delivery rooms for the large number of pregnant women among the Ethiopians in the refugee camps. Some of them require caesarean sections.
El Gaddal called for broader interventions, both by the Sudanese government and by international humanitarian aid organisations. More health care services are desperately needed in the refugee camps. COVID-19 isolation centres must be established in the refugee camps as well, as the disease is spreading in the neighbouring Ethiopian region.
She added that the people in El Gedaref are already suffering from many diseases, the most prominent of which is malaria. There are severe shortages of medicines.
The National Commission for Ethiopian Refugees, headed by Commissioner for Refugees in Sudan Abdallah Suleiman, held its first meeting with civil society organisations and UN agencies yesterday.
In New York, spokesperson for the UN Secretary‑General Stéphane Dujarric said yesterday that UN Refugee Agency UNHCR and its partners face "logistical challenges and remain overstretched". UNHCR also urgently needs additional funding.
Farmers from El Gedaref say that the vast numbers of Ethiopian refugees entering El Fashaga threaten the harvest of more than 500,000 acres of cultivated areas in the locality.
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