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Brazil provides 18 tons in-kind food donation and water purifiers to UNHCR for thousands of refugees affected by food insecurity in Ethiopia

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Brazil provides 18 tons in-kind food donation and water purifiers to UNHCR for thousands of refugees affected by food insecurity in Ethiopia

17 February 2024
Janja Lula da Silva officially donated items to the UNHCR in Ethiopia on 17 February in Addis Ababa.

Janja Lula da Silva together with UNHCR officials as well Ethiopia's Refugees and Returnees Service at the official donation ceremony in Addis Ababa.

The Government of Brazil announced it is donating food assistance and water purifiers in support of refugees and host communities residing in the Gambella region of Ethiopia. Gambella is the largest refugee hosting region in Ethiopia, 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 the First Lady of Brazil, Janja Lula da Silva. 

At the donation ceremony, Mrs. Janja Lula da Silva, First Lady of Brazil said “For Brazil it is a priority to fight against hunger and poverty in Africa. Millions live in shelters and camps all over the world including in Brazil and Ethiopia, face extreme situations of 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.”

Mr. Jose Solla, General Coordinator of Humanitarian Cooperation at the Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC), reiterated “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 much needed nutritional support as well as clean water to women and girls, 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.

The Director General (DG) of Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia’s Refugees and Returnees Service Mrs Teyiba Hassen welcomed the contribution. The DG said: “The support being provided now means a lot to those who rely on aid to survive; in this respect, I feel honored to thank our guest - the First Lady.”

Mrs Teyiba added: “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.”

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.

“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” said UNHCR’s Representative in Ethiopia Mr. Andrew Mbogori. “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.

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.


Available in Portugese

For more information, contact:

(RRS) In Addis Ababa, Sileshi Demisew, [email protected], +251 912 023 969

(UNHCR) In Addis Ababa, Lucrezia Vittori, [email protected], +251 97 810 4031

(UNHCR) In Nairobi (regional), Faith Kasina, [email protected], +254 113 427 094

(UNHCR) In Brasília, Miguel Pachioni, [email protected], +55 11 98875 3256