Ethiopia: Brazil Provides Refugees With 18 Tons Food Donation, Water Purifiers

The Government of Brazil announced that it is donating 18 tones of food and 65 water purifiers to UNHCR for supporting refugees and host communities residing in Gambella State.

In a press release sent to The Ethiopian Herald, the state is the largest refugee home to 385,000 refugees mainly from South Sudan. The donation of 65 water purifiers with a capacity to purify 5,600 liters per day, together with 18 tons of food supplies was made during an inaugural visit to Ethiopia by Brazil's First Lady Janja Lula da Silva.

At the donation ceremony, Janja Lula da Silva said, "For Brazil, it is apriority to fight against hunger and poverty in Africa. Millions of lives in shelters and camps all over the world including Brazil and Ethiopia have faced extreme situations like hunger. We can only solve these challenges by working together on solutions based on cooperation and solidarity to eradicate hunger and poverty in the world."

Jose Solla, General Coordinator of Humanitarian Cooperation at the Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC), said, "It is our hope that these items and other future actions, the first of many, can contribute to the wellbeing of the refugees while they are in Ethiopia and the communities that embrace them."

The contribution will provide women and girls with much needed nutritional support as well as clean water including pregnant and lactating women at-risk, children and refugees living with chronic illnesses in the Pinyudo, Jewi, Nguenyyiel, Tierkidi, and Kule refugee camps in Gambella. The assistance will also benefit those who recently arrived from Sudan and South Sudan because of ongoing conflict and inter-community violence.

Ethiopia's Refugees and Returnees Service Director General Teyiba Hassen on her part said, "Given that people fleeing natural and man-made catastrophes are entitled to 'a better everyday life' like any human being on planet earth, we welcome such supporting hands to better respond to the needs of our persons of concern. Hence, it is our firm belief that such initiatives might be replicated on a larger scale in the years to come."

As to Teyiba, Ethiopia hosts one of the largest refugees and internally displaced populations globally. As the third largest refugee-hosting country in Africa, it is currently home to nearly 1 million refugees - mainly from South Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea, and Sudan - while an estimated 3.5 million Ethiopians are internally displaced.

UNHCR's Representative in Ethiopia Andrew Mbogori said,"We are grateful to First Lady Lula da Silva and the Government of Brazil for their generous donation and kindness towards refugees in Ethiopia. This will provide lifesaving support to thousands of refugees who have been suffering from malnutrition and the effects of food insecurity. We hope that this will mark the beginning of a fruitful cooperation with Brazil to advance solutions for refugees and forcibly displaced people in Ethiopia," he added.

The Representative noted that this donation by the Government of Brazil comes at a crucial moment to support UNHCR and partners, in addressing refugees' and host communities most critical needs as the climate crisis is affecting the production and distribution of food worldwide. Across the country high malnutrition levels have been observed amid food insecurity, together with outbreaks of communicable diseases attributable to unsafe water supply, unhygienic and unsanitary waste disposal

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