September 16, 2012

MSF is providing aid to some 12,000 Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia's Bambasi refugee camp.

Nearly 40,000 Sudanese refugees fleeing conflict in Sudan's Blue Nile region have sought refuge in neighboring Ethiopia. About 15,000 of them lived in the camp of Ad-Damazin, about 20 kilometers [about 12.5 miles] from the border. At the end of April 2012, the Ethiopian authorities decided to close the camp, which was considered too close to Sudan, and move the refugees to a new site located near Bambasi in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, more than one hundred kilometers [about 62 miles] from the Sudanese border.

Following violent protests by the refugees who refused to leave Ad-Damazin, the Ethiopian authorities suspended humanitarian assistance—most importantly food distribution and health care—for more than two months. When 12,000 refugees were eventually transferred to Bambasi in July, nearly a quarter of the children under 5 years of age suffered from acute malnutrition.

After vaccinating the children against measles, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) opened a treatment center for malnutrition in Bambasi camp and is now distributing nutritional supplements to the most vulnerable until the situation stabilizes.

All images Ethiopia 2012 © Yann Libessart 



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