More than 25,000 people who have been displaced from their homes due to conflict along the Ethiopia and Somalia border, can now begin to rebuild their lives after receiving emergency relief from Irish Aid.
The aid, worth almost €500,000, was distributed by Trócaire in the Moyale District in Southern Ethiopia and included shelter, blankets, cooking utensils, mosquito nets and hygiene kits.
“This donation has enabled us to deliver relief to the most vulnerable displaced people in the district, the majority of whom are women and children,” said Teamrat Belai, Programme Manager for Trócaire in Ethiopia. “The aid means that they now have a roof over their heads as well as life-saving support.”
Among those who received the aid was mother of four, Halene Sidogolicha. When violence erupted in her community, her family was forced to flee the home they had lived in for the last 30 years.
Halene lost all of her possessions as well as her livestock and small shop which she relied on to support her family.
“We arrived here fleeing the conflict in order to save our lives. When we arrived here, we had nothing and no place to live.”
Along with her family, she built a makeshift tent on empty land with old plastic sheeting.
“Sometimes, when it rained hard, the water would come from every direction and the cold was unbearable,” she said.
Thanks to the Irish Aid support, Halene and her family now have shelter, and received blankets and utensils. “We would have fallen sick had it not been for the sheets and the blankets. We were also able to build a cooking shed for preparing our meals,” she explained.
Halene and her family can begin to rebuild their lives, with her children now attending school. “I now want to see my children become educated and lead fulfilling lives.”
I am very thankful that those living so far from us thought about us during our plight,” she added. “It is a testament of humanity and we are very happy for the support.”
Patrick McManus, the head of Irish Aid in Ethiopia, said that since 2012 Ireland has provided over 27 million Euros in humanitarian assistance to Ethiopia, including over 6.8 million Euros in 2018.