Seventy tons of aid sets off for Ethiopia food crisis

Emergencies article written on the 21 Jul 2011

Supplies ready to be dispatched to Ethiopia. Photo: Amy Christian/Oxfam

Seventy tons of life-saving aid has left Oxfam’s UK warehouse, heading for drought-hit southeast Ethiopia. The aid – £300,000 worth of water, sanitation equipment and plastic sheeting for shelter – will help remote Ethiopian villages and 60,000 Somali refugees who have recently arrived in the overcrowded Dolo Ado camps close to the Somalia border.

Around 2,000 refugees a day are arriving in Dolo Ado and the situation in the camps is dire, with severe shortages of water and latrines. Local communities in the surrounding area are also badly affected by the drought – about 85% have had no rain at all this year, causing widespread livestock deaths and high levels of malnutrition.

Six lorries left the Bicester warehouse on Sunday 17 July, to take the aid to Luxembourg, from where it will be flown out. It should arrive in the crisis zones in the next few days. Ian Bray of Oxfam Great Britain urged people to keep donating to the East Africa appeal. “Much, much more is needed,” he said. “This is aid for a refugee camp in southern Ethiopia, but we’re working in northern Kenya as well, and also in Somalia where the situation is extremely bad.”

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