Home | News    Friday 16 December 2011

ICRC provides "phone a family" to Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia

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By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

December 15, 2011(ADDIS ABABA) – As part of the efforts to restore refugee-family links, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has began providing free phone programme to thousands of Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia.

UN aid agencies and humanitarian groups estimated that over 36,000 Sudanese refugees arrived in Ethiopia since last September after the eruption of fighting in Blue Nile state between the Sudanese army and the rebel and Sudan People’s Liberation Movement -North (SPLM-N) forces.

Zewdu Ayalew, ICRC representative in Addis Ababa told Sudan Tribune that over 1,500 Sudanese refugees have successfully made their first contact with their family since the program was launched three weeks ago.

The service is being given jointly by the ICRC and the Ethiopian Red Cross Society at three refugee camps namely Tongo, Sherkelo and Ademzin.

According to Zewdu, Refugees upon arrival are allowed to make a maximum 2-minute phone call to their family or to other close relative anywhere in the world and the communication are limited to family and personal news only.

Through the service refuges let-know their families on their safety arrival at the camps and this will ease their worry about situation of their families left behind.

Micha Wedekind, ICRC delegate in charge of the service says that the phone a family service is the quickest and most efficient way to help refuges get relief to their anxiety.

(ST)

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