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Band Aid and UNHCR link up again to help Somali and Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia

News Stories, 17 September 2010

© UNHCR/F.Courbet
Somali refugees at a water outlet in Ethiopia. Band Aid's donation will help provide fresh water for refugees in Aw-Barre camp.

LONDON, United Kingdom, September 17 (UNHCR) The Band Aid Charitable Trust set up by rock music legends Bob Geldof and Midge Ure in 1985 has given £55,000 (US$86,000) to UNHCR to help Somali refugees in eastern Ethiopia.

The grant 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 who have fled their conflict-torn country. Some 30,000 Ethiopians living nearby 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 gender impact as women and girls will no longer have to run the risk of being attacked or raped 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."

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 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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