Home | News    Saturday 25 September 2010

Band Aid funds UNHCR help Somali, Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia


By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

September 24, 2010 (ADDIS ABABA) – Band Aid Charitable Trust donated a grant of US$86,000 to assist tens of thousands of mainly and Sudanese and Somalis refugees currently residing in a semi-arid region of eastern Ethiopia, said the UN refugee Agency.

Sudanese rRefugees at Ethiopia’s Fugnido camp (photo UNHCR)

In May this year, the Horn of Africa’s nation said that it is expecting an additional 25,000 Somali refugees fleeing fighting in their homeland, to cross Ethiopia’s south-eastern border by the end of the year and appealed for $13 million dollars to support the rising refugee population.

Today, Ethiopia hosts over 140,000 refugees including Somalis, Eritreans and Sudanese. Among these 68,000 are Somalis sheltered in five camps in the east. Some 16,600 are long-term refugees who fled Somalia in the 1990s while the rest arrived after 2006.The remaining 50,000 of the total are from Eritrea and 24,000 from Sudan.

The UNHCR said that, Band Aid’s donation will be used to construct a gravity-fed pipeline to provide a regular supply of fresh water to refugees in the Aw-Barre camp, which hosts some 13,000 Somalis. The 30,000 Ethiopians in the vicinity will also benefit from the project.

The provision of clean water will have benefits for public health and personal hygiene. It will also have a positive impact on women and girls as they will no longer have to run the risk of being attacked or while collecting water outside the camp. They will also now have more time to spend on education or income-generation activities.

Claire Palmer, a fund-raiser for UNHCR in London, welcomed the collaboration and noted that "this project marks the rekindling of a relationship between UNHCR and The Band Aid Charitable Trust that began in the mid-80s when Band Aid supported UNHCR with funds to provide emergency humanitarian aid for Sudanese and Somali refugees living in Ethiopia."

A few months ago, the UN refugee agency inaugurated a multi-million dollar water and electrification project in the country’s Somali region aimed at benefiting tens of thousands of people, including Somali refugees and members of the local community.

The US$5 million Jarrar Valley Water Supply scheme uses electricity to pump 1.3 million liters of fresh water a day to 51,000 people, including 16,000 refugees.

The Band Aid Charitable Trust was set up to handle and allocate funds raised by the song, "Do They Know It’s Christmas?," which was performed by a superband brought together by Bob Geldof of the Boomtown Rats and Ure from Ultravox.

Led by the two men, the group featured artists such as Phil Collins, Sir Paul McCartney, Boy George, Bono, Paul Weller, George Michael, Sting and David Bowie. It became a massive charts hit. New versions of the song were released in 1989 and 2004.

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  • 25 September 2010 10:44, by julius mowanga

    Why GOSS is very concerned about the repatriation of South Sudanese IDPs living in Northern Sudan?? who are living in a better way than those who are in Egypt, Uganda, Kenya, Eriteria and Ethiopia.Is’t a political game too???

    It’s a shameful, that 24000 South Sudanese left behind in miserable condition in Ethiopia. GOSS doesn’t care to accommodate them,while the Oil revenue is more than can be handled.

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