Dubai: The UAE has sent a total of Dh16.5 million food aid to refugees fleeing the escalating violence in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) announced on Tuesday.
According to WFP, a humanitarian crisis is escalating on the Ethiopia-Sudan border. “The violence has triggered a massive wave of displacement, uprooting more than 100,000 civilians. More than 40,000 people from Tigray have already entered Sudan, mostly through Hamdayet and Lugdi crossing points. The flow of people is expected to continue unless there is a halt to the fighting,” WFP added in a statement sent to Gulf News.
The WFP, which recently won the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize for its humanitarian efforts, has been providing hot meals and high-energy biscuits to refugees arriving at the transit and reception centres after entering Sudan. WFP is also providing monthly family food rations and specialised nutritious foods for women and young children at refugee camps.
The WFP noted the UAE was the first country to announce support for WFP emergency food assistance to Ethiopian refugees in Sudan.
“Once again, the UAE is stepping up as an important first responder and an invaluable partner for WFP and the work we do,” said WFP executive director David Beasley, adding: “The contribution will enable WFP to gear up its response and help tens of thousands of Ethiopians seeking hopefully short-term refuge in neighbouring Sudan.”
Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in Al Dhafra Region and Chairman of the Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) commented: “The UAE attaches great importance to the refugee issue around the world. The UAE’s initiatives contribute to strengthening international efforts to alleviate the suffering of refugees and improve their livelihoods and humanitarian conditions.”
“Aligned with the UAE’s humanitarian approach of rapid response and interaction with global crises, this support - provided through the WFP - will help mitigate the severity of the humanitarian situation of the Ethiopian refugees in Sudan and ease their burdens,” he underlined.
Meanwhile, the WFP-managed United Nations Humanitarian Air Service is expecting to start light aircraft services to Gadaref in Sudan to enhance service delivery to some of the camps. The WFP needs at least US$24.6 million (Dh90.2 million) to support the influx of refugees for six months.