Relief goods distribution for refugees in Melkadida

by Sven Ramones,  2012/01/25

Far away from the public eye, ten thousands of persons in the South of Ethiopia are still living at refugee camps after last year’s extreme drought disaster. Since then, the relief efforts of humedica have been continued in order to help the people in the surroundings of the city of Dollo Ado.

A young inhabitant of the Melkadida camp, where humedica offers medical care and basic provisions to a total number of 40,000 refugees. Photo: humedica/Sven Ramones

A few months ago, humedica employee Sven Ramones had been active as a coordinator in Dollo Ado, where he had organised the relief measures. Almost two weeks ago, he returned to Ethiopia, where he once more supports the local relief measures of humedica. In his latest report he describes his first impressions.

“When I left Dollo Ado last year, I left with the cautious hope that the situation of the people there would improve as soon as possible. Ten thousands had fled drought, famine and violence in the neighbouring country Somalia and had come to the border city, where they had been accommodated at huge refugee camps.

But even back then, the perspective of a fast improvement of the people’s living circumstances, or of an early return to their home country, had been tragically remote. Life at the camps takes its toll on the people. Returning to their homes will only be an alternative, when there will be the prospect of a new harvest, and when the political situation in their country will have stabilised once more.

Even now, several hundred Somali refugees arrive in Dollo Ado day by day. Therefore, a new long-planned refugee camp was opened last December, for accommodating the endless flow of refugees. Now, almost 6,000 persons are leading a meagre life in the bitter dust of Camp Bur Amino, and the merciless heat of the Ethiopian savannah. Just as people do at the other tent cities.

Since the middle of last year, humedica has been committed to help these people in their misery in a sustainable way. Since then, medical relief projects have been set up and expanded at the Melkadida refugee camp, in order to offer urgently needed medical treatment to the refugees.

After having registered, the waiting women are given a voucher that entitles them to receive urgently needed objects. Photo: humedica/Sven Ramones

Besides the targeted aid at the large health centre of Melkadida, which is provided in form of medical humedica teams and drug supplies, a separate humedica health centre was set up at the other end of the camp in October, where the humedica doctors and nursing staff can reach even more ill and injured persons.

Many of the people who came to Melkadida are absolutely destitute. Hardly any of them were able to save any of their possessions during the flight from famine and war. Even today, they still are almost without resources. The numerous families lack the most basic things of everyday life.

Back home in Germany, where most people have everything they want, it is hard to imagine the difference it makes weather you have plates and dishes and pots, buckets, water cans and sleeping mats, or weather you don’t.

For the refugees, however, these simple everyday objects can mean a decisive change in their lives at the camp. Families can cook their food, wash their clothes, or get clean drinking water. And, under the given circumstances, they can eventually return to a more or less regular family life.

It is these everyday objects, humedica has recently provided to needy women, children and men in the framework of a large-scale distribution campaign. Almost 700 families received the urgently needed household sets, which will facilitate their lives at the refugee camp.

Prior to the distribution, a committee of the refugees’ self-administration had chosen the neediest families. In this way, they ensured that those persons received help, who lacked even the basic necessities of every-day life.

Are plates and dishes, buckets and water cans really that important? Yes, they are. And they change the lives of the refugees. Photo: humedica/Sven Ramones

Help that starts with the essentials. Help that facilitates the lives for thousands of persons, young and old, at Melkadida camp. Provisions for those who are destitute. Hope for the hopeless, and a feeling of not being alone in their misery.”

Make the essentials possible, and much more beyond that: please continue to support our relief measures at the Horn of Africa also in future, and support the people who are living in misery without any fault of their own.

      humedica e. V.
      Donation reference “Famine relief Africa
      Account 47 47
      Bank Code 734 500 00
      Sparkasse Kaufbeuren

You can also support us in a fast, simple and secure way by means of sending a text message: simply send a text message containing the reference DOC to +49 8 11 90. You will be charged 5 euros, with 4.83 euros of this amount being directly channelled into the humedica project work. Thank you very much!

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