Supporting South Sudanese and Eritrean Refugees in Ethiopia - GOAL Global Skip to content

Supporting South Sudanese and Eritrean Refugees in Ethiopia


March 8, 2017 • 2 min read


With funding from the European Commission’s Humanitarian Office (ECHO) and the US State Department (Bureau for Population, Refugees and Migration) GOAL Ethiopia has been implementing a refugee response programme for South Sudanese and Eritrean refugees in Gambella and Afar regions of Ethiopia since 2012. We are currently operational in Tierkadi and Kule camps in Gambella, and Berhale and Asayita camps in Afar. The combined total population of these four camps is more than 140,000 people. The majority of the camp population – more than 87% – is made up of women and children. Many of the refugees arriving in the camps have suffered long periods of food insecurity, conflict, and displacement, and many arrive suffering from acute malnutrition, malaria and other health complications.
With funding from both donors, and in collaboration with the dedicated government refugee agency (ARRA), GOAL is implementing a life-saving nutrition programme across the four camps, mainly targeting the most vulnerable groups – children under five, pregnant women, and mothers with young children. The response focuses on the screening, prevention, and treatment of malnutrition.
We work with pregnant women and mothers with young children to provide education on the key aspects of infant and young child feeding, focusing on the first ‘1,000 days of life’ to ensure new-born and young children have a healthy start to life. Maternal nutrition is promoted, skilled breastfeeding support provided, baby friendly spaces with toys are set up, and mother-to-mother discussions take place where women learn from each other and receive counselling from GOAL’s nurses and midwives.
We also provide additional nutritious food to vulnerable groups to treat moderate acute malnutrition and to supplement the general rations that all refugees receive, helping women and children to maintain a healthy nutritional status. In addition, GOAL implements an out-patient therapeutic programme to treat any individuals suffering from severe acute malnutrition, and in collaboration with ARRA we maintain a 24 hour intensive care unit for those suffering from medical complications that need additional care.
Dietary diversification is an important aspect of our nutrition programming, and GOAL is working with refugee communities to plant micro-gardens, promoting the use of fresh vegetables and providing education about diet diversity and nutritious foods.
In addition, in Berhale camp, with ECHO funding, GOAL is responsible for the provision and maintenance of the clean water supply for the entire camp population (more than 10,000 people). We also carry out sanitation and hygiene promotion activities – installing household and community latrines and showers, and working with community volunteers from the refugee population to promote best hygiene practices.
This generous funding from ECHO and the US State Department has allowed GOAL to reach more than 50,000 people through our refugee interventions in 2016.