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UNHCR Partner Organization, Alight, Responds As More Than 25,000 Ethiopian Refugees Flee To Sudan

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November 18, 2020

Global Humanitarian Organization Utilizing Established Relationships to Provide Lifesaving Care and Extend Services

115557563 gettyimages 1229668533MINNEAPOLISNov. 18, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Global humanitarian organization, Alight, is supporting thousands of Ethiopian refugees who’ve recently arrived in Sudan with lifesaving services. The conflict in northern Ethiopia has been building over the last several weeks and reached a critical point over the weekend. Alight, which has had a presence in Sudan since 2003 as UNHCR’s main partner on the ground, is providing lifesaving medical care for those who’ve fled in Sudan’s Kassala state. The organization also provides clean water in the region and will be responsive to the emerging needs of this vulnerable population as more Ethiopians are expected to arrive in the coming weeks.

“What’s happening in Ethiopia right now threatens to embroil the entire region and endanger the lives of millions of people,” says Daniel Wordsworth, Alight CEO. “Our team in Sudan is ready. People with connections to Ethiopia are stepping forward, helping us get humanitarian relief to families who’ve fled the violence. We are used to providing critical medical care, clean water and other lifesaving support to thousands of people every day since we first began our work in the country over 15 years ago and are ready to continue that work in this dire time of need.”

Twenty five percent of refugees arriving from Ethiopia are children, but that number is expected to rise as more people begin reaching the border. Alight’s teams are well positioned to respond, already actively working with tens of thousands of Eritrean refugees in Kassala state. Additionally, Alight leaders from across Sudan are deploying to the east as the organization simultaneously secures it’s registration in Gedaref so that Alight teams can extend their work to provide health services in support of this evolving humanitarian emergency.

“The Sudanese are an amazingly hospitable and generous people. And they’re doing all they can to receive and support Ethiopian families who’ve come for safe haven,” said Heidi Diedrich, Alight’s Sudan Country Director. “With the challenges of COVID-19 and the more than 100,000 refugees expected in Sudan over the coming weeks, we can use all the support we can get. We’re in urgent need of food, drugs and other essentials.”

To learn more and offer support of Alight’s work in Sudan and around the world, and to stay up-to-date with the organization’s response for Ethiopian refugees, please visit

Established in 1978 by founder Neal BallAlight, formerly known as American Refugee Committee, provides health care, clean water, shelter, protection and economic opportunities to more than 3.5 million people in 19 countries each year. Alight believes in the incredible creativity, potential and ingenuity of the displaced and works to shine a light on their humanity, the tremendous amount of good that’s already happening and the possibilities to do more. In 2020, Alight received the prestigious 4-Star Rating from Charity Navigator for the tenth consecutive year, celebrating a decade of impactful work. The organization exists to see and help every person make meaningful change in the world – from displaced and marginalized communities in AfricaAsia and the Americas to…anyone, anywhere.