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Living in a camp With you
Living in a camp News of the help that together we’re bringing to refugees - 2004 Issue 2  
In this issue...
‘We went outside to find out what it was ...’
Thank goodness for the roof over our heads
Thank you from Afghanistan
The Untold Stories: Protracted Refugee Situations

GlobeRefugees around the world Click to read article

UNHCR is busy helping refugees all over the world. Find out more about what we're doing in countries like Liberia, Somalia, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Glass of waterCanada’s Earth Water International is helping refugees Click to read article

UNHCR's partner, Earth Water, makes a unique offer to help support projects for refugees.

Why I help refugees Click to read article

Helping handTina Ghelli, Community Services Officer for the UN Refugee Agency in Uganda describes the most pressing needs and her most rewarding experiences.

Article IndexArticle Index

Boy drinking water

Corporate Responsibility: Canada’s Earth Water International is helping refugees

In Canada, we have some of the safest drinking water on the planet. Sadly, most refugees live in climates where there is a lack of water, or the available water is not clean. One of the greatest challenges that the UN Refugee Agency faces is to provide enough water for refugees living in temporary settlements.

Earth Water, a newly formed company in Edmonton, Alberta, approached the UN Refugee Agency this year with an offer to give 100% of their net profits to support water projects for refugees. Earth Water believes that everyone has the right to clean safe water. At the UN Refugee Agency we agree, but we have to find the money to support these vital projects. It is through the generosity of socially conscious companies and individual donors that we can ensure that refugees get enough water to survive.

UNHCR ensures that temporary containers are available immediately in times of crisis, along with the necessary trucks to keep them filled. As camps evolve into more permanent settlements, these bladders must be replaced by more permanent water sources: reservoirs or water towers. Eventually, wells must be planned and drilled, and community water pumps must be installed and maintained.

Water is necessary for life. The UN Refugee Agency is proud to be working with Earth Water and other generous donors to provide the most basic of human needs to people living in exile.

Refugees in Ethiopia's Kebribeyah camp benefiting from improved water points

UNHCR's commitment to provide water for refugees:

Access to water a basic right for refugees, says UNHCR
GENEVA, March 22 (UNHCR) – On the occasion of World Water Day, Acting High Commissioner Wendy Chamberlin called on UNHCR staff to "redouble efforts" to improve services to provide clean water to refugees and others of concern to UNHCR."Our protection goals are to ensure that refugees' fundamental rights are respected, including their access to water," Chamberlin said in a message to all UNHCR staff. "Fulfilling that basic right is essential for the life, health and dignity of the people of concern to UNHCR, as well as a benchmark for every relief operation."

World Water Day is celebrated internationally on March 22. This year, World Water Day is also the launching point for the International Decade for Action on "Water for Life", declared by the United Nations General Assembly.
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TOP: Refugees in Ethiopia's Kebribeyah camp benefiting from improved water points. © Australia for UNHCR/D.O'Neill

Why I help refugees  

Tina Ghelli, Community Services Officer for the UN Refugee Agency in Uganda

Q: You work with refugees who have been in Uganda a long time. What do you do?

A: I coordinate health care and schooling, and assistance for people with HIV-AIDS, children who have lost their families, and people who are disabled, elderly or heading up households on their own.

Q: What is the most pressing need?

A: Education for refugee children, especially older children. Funds to help them continue learning are very limited.

Q: What has been your most rewarding experience?

A: There are so many! Just this week I was able to help a three-year-old Congolese refugee boy whose mother recently died. Like her, he is HIV positive. I’ve got him into a wonderful day programme for HIV positive children at a local hospital. He will get medical care, go to pre-school and be with other children just like him. He is so happy and for the first time in months we have seen him smile.

Q: What has been most challenging?

A: Times when I have not been in the field – I missed having a direct impact on people’s lives every day.


Tina Ghelli registering new Rwandan refugee arrivals

Tina Ghelli registering new Rwandan refugee arrivals in Mugano Camp, Burundi during the Great Lakes emergency
© UNHCR/A.Hollman

Latest News from Uganda

over 31,000 Sudanese refugees displaced by recent LRA raids
More than 31,000 Sudanese refugees have been displaced from their settlements in northern Uganda in recent weeks, following repeated raids by marauding rebels of the feared Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), according to latest registration figures. The registration, mounted by UNHCR, the Ugandan government and humanitarian partner agencies counted 28,000 displaced refugees in Adjumani District, 2,500 in Moyo District and 1,000 in Arua District of Uganda. An additional 500 also reportedly crossed back into Sudan after fleeing their settlements. The exodus of most of the Sudanese from their settlements in the Zoka Forest Belt south of Adjumani began in early March due to frequent raids by the feared LRA.



Colombian flagFor more of the latest news on the situation in Uganda, visit the Uganda Country page on the UNHCR's International website.


With you, the UN Refugee Agency can pay for further education or training in refugee camps