USAID Mission Director Visits Gambella Region to Meet Leadership, Discuss Malaria and Refugee Assistance

Gambella, December 15, 2023 – The United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID’s) Mission Director to Ethiopia, Scott Hocklander, traveled to Gambella to meet regional leadership, assess the resumption of refugee food assistance, and visit USAID projects fighting malaria.

Director Hocklander received a warm welcome from the regional president of Gambella, His Excellency Umod Ujulu, who discussed USAID’s long-standing partnership with the people in Gambella Region, and across Ethiopia. Director Hocklander emphasized USAID’s commitment to the region, and to supporting both the local and refugee populations. They discussed USAID’s investments in Gambella, including delivering quality public health services, and how to better support combatting infectious diseases like malaria.

Visiting Ngunyiel and Pugnido refugee camps, Director Hocklander observed the distribution of life-saving emergency food, organized by USAID partner World Vision. The Director saw the recently implemented reforms in the distribution of food assistance for refugees—including enhanced biometric records using fingerprints, and barcode labeling of bags—which ensure food reaches those who need it most. After, the USAID Director sat down with leaders of the refugee population to discuss their needs and ensure that the needed reforms are being implemented to their benefit.

Director Hocklander also visited Gambella Primary Hospital to see the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative’s Evolve Project, a $2.5 million dollar regional investment to combat malaria. With hospital leadership, project staff, and representatives from the Gambella Regional Health Bureau, Director Hocklander witnessed a demonstration of house-to-house safe insecticide spraying—a lifesaving approach to reduce malaria cases across the region. Lastly, he sat down with the CEO of the nearby Gambella General Hospital, Dr. Okoth Ojulu Olock, to discuss the greater needs of the region’s healthcare facilities.

In 2022 alone, USAID invested more than $1.8 billion across the country in humanitarian and development aid. These projects are further examples of continued cooperation between the American people and the people of Ethiopia.

To learn more about the U.S.-Ethiopia partnership visit: U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia and follow U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa | Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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