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Relief supplies dispatched to Somali refugees in Ethiopia

Briefing notes

Relief supplies dispatched to Somali refugees in Ethiopia

6 February 2009

UNHCR and its humanitarian partners are dispatching staff and essential relief supplies to the border area of Dolo-Ado, in the Somali Region of south-east Ethiopia where there are now an estimated 10,000 new asylum seekers who have fled insecurity in neighbouring Somalia since the beginning of the year. About 150 people are now crossing the border each day and it is likely that number of new arrivals will increase further over the next few weeks.

Earlier this week, UNHCR dispatched three trucks carrying an assortment of relief items from Addis Abeba. These include 3,000 mosquito nets, 5,000 blankets, 5,000 jerry cans and 3,000 kitchen sets. Additional trucks are being loaded with 3,000 plastic sheets, registration materials for 10,000 refugees, two generators, 10 water tanks, a water pump and 3,000 mats. All these items are expected to reach Dolo Ado today.

The World Food Programme (WFP) has sent food rations for two weeks and is airlifting high-nutrition biscuits from its emergency stock in Tanzania. The World Health Organization (WHO) is pre-positioning vaccines, medicines and other medical supplies based on their emergency checklist, while UNICEF is looking at supporting the water sector and eventually the primary education sector.

We have obtained a formal authorization from local authorities to establish a camp around Dolo-Ado. UNHCR team has also identified structures for use as offices and as a compound.

The influx has increased after Ethiopian forces ended their two-year presence in Somalia last month.