Posted by: africanpressorganization | 28 July 2011

Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency supports UN efforts for Somali refugees in Ethiopia



Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency supports UN efforts for Somali refugees in Ethiopia


STOCKHOLM, Sweden, July 28, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Today, Thursday, staff from the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency are travelling to Ethiopia to participate in the UN mission in the refugee camps in Dollo Ado, in response to the famine in the Horn of Africa. The Agency will contribute by building a housing and office camp for about 30 UN employees. The estimated cost of SEK 5.5 million will be paid by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).


“In view of the acute refugee situation in the Horn of Africa, the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency will now help the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, to provide more effective reception of Somali refugees in Ethiopia. This is vital to enable humanitarian aid to reach as many people in need as possible,” says Minister for International Development Cooperation Gunilla Carlsson.


“Through the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency, Sweden has long experience of supporting aid organisations on the ground in a disaster area,” says Minister for Defence Sten Tolgfors. “A couple of examples are in Haiti after the earthquake and support to UN efforts to take care of refugees from Libya. It is positive that the Agency’s capabilities can now be of use to UNHCR in helping refugees in need in the acute situation in the Horn of Africa.”


Approximately 3 500 people are leaving Somalia each day and making their way to refugee camps, mainly in Kenya and Ethiopia. The large number of refugees has overwhelmed the receiving countries, which are struggling with drought and the severe humanitarian situation of their own people. There are now approximately 154 000 refugees in the Dollo Ado area near the Somali border, some 2 000 people are arriving every day and the refugee camps are full to overflowing. Many refugees are in very poor health and need urgent humanitarian assistance. Children are at particular risk and there is widespread malnutrition. UNHCR has asked the international community for USD 136 million to help refugees in the Horn of Africa.

To ensure that humanitarian assistance reaches those in need, it is essential that humanitarian organisations are able to increase their presence and that conditions are provided that allow them to work effectively. The Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency has therefore decided to assist by providing an office and housing solution on behalf of UNHCR for UNHCR and other UN bodies on the ground.



Sweden – Ministry of Foreign Affairs


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