© UNHCR / L.Padoan
Somali refugees wait in line for hot food at a camp in Dollo Ado.
Access to sanitary materials is central to women’s dignity and self esteem. The lack of sanitary supplies can affect women’s health, but also their general mobility. Unfortunately, in a humanitarian emergency situation such as the crisis on the Horn of Africa, the risk is high that the provision of sanitary supplies becomes inadequate.
“It is of utmost importance that we make sure the provision of sanitary material is a non negotiable standard, whatever the circumstances” says Hans ten Feld, UNHCR Regional Representative in the Baltic and Nordic countries “Thanks to the contribution from SCA, UNHCR will be able to provide these items to even more refugee women in Ethiopia.”
The Horn of Africa is experiencing the most severe food crisis in the world today, causing a massive displacement within Somalia and refugee flows across borders into Kenya, Yemen, Ethiopia and Djibouti. Over 12 million people are severely affected and in urgent need of humanitarian aid, and there is no likelihood of this situation improving until 2012.
UNHCR and its partners have mounted a massive emergency response throughout the region to enable refugees to meet their essential needs until durable solutions are found. UNHCR has started the distribution of emergency assistance packages that consist of core relief items, including sanitary napkins to refugee women and girls.
The 1.6 million feminine towels donated by SCA, a Swedish hygiene and paper company with operations in 100 countries, will be handed out at the Dollo Ado complex in Ethiopia where UNHCR has four refugee camps.