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NGCamp_Deech (2)


Nuyakeen's history

“I came from South Sudan with my nine children”

Since December 2013, the civil war that rages in South Sudan has displaced thousands of people, with more than 2 millions of refugees and asylum-seekers in the neighboring countries of Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia and Kenya mostly. Gambella region currently hosts more than 405,000 persons, mainly women and children, which equals the local Ethiopian population. The terrible circumstances of their journey to find shelter in Ethiopia and the harsh living conditions in a camp lead the most vulnerable of them to malnutrition.


"There is no return home for us because of the war in my country"
NGCamp_Deech (3)
Nguenyyiel, Ethiopia

Nuyakeen is a 33 years old mother “I came from South Sudan with my nine children, I remember it was the 23rd October 2016. I was in another camp, but I moved to Nguenyyiel one month ago. I didn’t hear from my husband since I arrived in Ethiopia. He is a soldier and I don’t know whether he is alive or if he died. I don’t have any news.” On her lap, her latest child has been admitted the day before in the stabilization center of Action Against Hunger. “Deech is 1 year and 7 months old. It’s not the first time I bring him in a health center, he has already been treated once but he keeps falling sick.” The little boy has fever, cough, and her mother thinks he is experiencing pain throat that is why he lost his appetite. After a while, her elder daughter joins them, bringing the yellow card that indicates how many people there is in the household and that determinate the food ration they are receiving from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees “She takes care of the other children when I am here with Deech. Fortunately, only my baby is sick.”


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Nuyakeen, her son et her older daughter

© Léa Vollet

“One of the problem is the lack of good practices, explains Lemma, the nutrition program manager for Action Against Hunger, we see children coming to the center because their families don’t apply the basic hygiene rules. Children are often in contact with contaminated water or food, and they contract diarrhea that leads to malnutrition. That is why we hold caring and advices sessions with the mothers and their children when they get better. They go to the baby-friendly space just across the compound. Sometimes and particularly in time of crisis, the bond between the mother, or the caregiver, and the child has been temporally severed. We offer them a space where they can feel safe again and build a new relationship.”


Léa Vollet
Communication Officer

In Gambella region, Action Against Hunger works both in refugee’s camp and within the local Ethiopian communities to prevent and fight malnutrition. Our activities are supported by the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations of the European Commission (ECHO), the Bureau of Populations, Refugees and Migrations (BPRM), Global Affairs Canada (GAC) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).


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