UNHCR Partner Organization, Alight, Expands Services As Surge Of Ethiopian Refugees Continues In Sudan
Calling On Global Community to Support Relief Efforts as Humanitarian Crisis Persists
MINNEAPOLIS, Dec. 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — As a result of the recent civil unrest unfolding in Ethiopia, refugees continue streaming into Sudan while the situation on the ground to provide basic needs including shelter, health care and clean water is becoming increasingly challenging to maintain. Long-standing UNHCR partner in Sudan and global humanitarian organization, Alight, has been sustaining their efforts to provide clean water and lifesaving medical services for a number of people who have fled thus far – some of whom have special needs including physical and mental health support, pregnant and lactating women, and an estimated 25% of which are children – but the team has stepped in to help with protection work as well.
“Whenever refugees arrive en masse in any country, it’s crucial that all support teams remain flexible and work together to address the changes in the situation and needs of those that are seeking refuge,” said Heidi Diedrich, Alight’s Sudan Country Director. “As this humanitarian crisis continues to unfold at a rapid pace, and more and more Ethiopians are crossing the border on a daily basis, we’ve seen a need for additional support in areas that Alight fortunately has extensive experience. I’m incredibly proud to see our teams drawing on that broad global experience implementing in times of emergency to quickly shift gears and help wherever we’re needed.”
Although a majority of the incoming Ethiopians are currently living in transitional camps, there is a spirit of camaraderie and support throughout the emerging communities. Refugee volunteers with medical training are providing basic health care services and have begun advocating for essential drugs. A group of refugees were able to travel from Ethiopia with an ambulance and are in the process of establishing an ambulance service throughout the camp.
“What we are seeing in Sudan, a place that has once again opened its borders to an influx of refugees from Ethiopia, is the true strength of the human spirit, and resilience and power derived from community,” adds Igor Radonjic, Alight Senior Global Housing & WASH Advisor. “The land is hot and barren, making it difficult to have sustainable food sources and shelter. It is our goal to serve each and every individual no matter what their circumstance, in part by implementing Alight’s ethos of Doing the Doable to make small changes that have a large and lasting impact.”
Various Doing the Doable projects that have recently emerged include obtaining locally-made woven mats to create shaded areas, sourcing tire replacements and oil for the new ambulance system, and establishing counseling spaces.
To learn more and offer support of Alight’s work in Sudan and around the world, and to stay up-to-date with the organization’s response for Ethiopian refugees, please visit www.wearealight.org.
Established in 1978 by founder Neal Ball, Alight, formerly known as American Refugee Committee, provides health care, clean water, shelter, protection and economic opportunities to more than 3.5 million people in 19 countries each year. Alight believes in the incredible creativity, potential and ingenuity of the displaced and works to shine a light on their humanity, the tremendous amount of good that’s already happening and the possibilities to do more. In 2020, Alight received the prestigious 4-Star Rating from Charity Navigator for the tenth consecutive year, celebrating a decade of impactful work. The organization exists to see and help every person make meaningful change in the world – from displaced and marginalized communities in Africa, Asia and the Americas to…anyone, anywhere.