Supporting Ethiopian families during conflict

Alight is providing thousands of refugees and displaced persons with medical care and clean water.


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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Stepping up to support Ethiopian refugees and displaced people

Since November 2020, the conflict in northern Ethiopia has been building. 2 million people are displaced within Ethiopia as a result of the crisis. And thousands of people have fled across the border into Sudan’s Gedaref and Kassala states. More than 60,000 Ethiopian refugees have arrived in Sudan as a result of this conflict. Alight has mobilized teams to respond to the crisis in Kassala and Gedaref in Sudan. And our team in Ethiopia is in position to ensure families have medical care, clean water, and shelter.

Our teams are ready. They’re used to providing critical lifesaving support to thousands of people every day.

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Alight is responding in both Kassala and Gedaref, including in Um Raquba refugee camp (above). Individuals in critical condition are being cared for in Alight medical facilities in Kassala, and teams are also providing clean water. In Gedaref, our protection team is working to make sure people at particular risk have the support they need – including children who have arrived from Ethiopia unaccompanied and separated from their families. We’re listening and responsive to the emerging needs of this vulnerable population.

“The Sudanese are an amazingly hospitable and generous people. And they’re doing all they can to receive and support Ethiopian families who’ve come for safe haven,” said Heidi Diedrich, Alight’s Sudan Country Director. “But with the challenges of COVID-19 and more refugees expected in Sudan, we can use all the support we can get. Food, drugs and other essentials are urgently needed.”

Many of the refugees arriving from Ethiopia are children. Alight’s teams are positioned well for this response, already actively working with tens of thousands of Eritrean refugees in Kassala state before the crisis began. And Alight leaders from around the world have deployed to the east to support this evolving humanitarian emergency.

Inside Ethiopia, access to thousands of displaced families has been too impossible or dangerous. But as access improves, Alight’s Horn of Africa team is moving into position to provide the shelter, water, and medical care people need so terribly.

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[Below] Erhabet fled from Tigray with her family a few weeks ago. Her 20-year old daughter is a person with special needs, requiring a higher level of service to ensure she stays safe. The Alight team visited with Erhabet and her family, connecting them with elevated care and asking what they needed most. They told us some shade would help—something to lessen the oppressive weight of the sun. We were able to take care of this need right away with some local woven mats, draped over the tents. It’s a small relief but one that will help Erhabet and her family get through the day.


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