IOM receives 2,400 solar lanterns for El Niño affected families in Ethiopia

News Hour:

IOM has received 2,400 solar lanterns from Panasonic Corporation, a Japanese multinational electronics company. They will be distributed to internally displaced families in Ethiopia, notably in communities affected by El Niño drought.

The in-kind donation is part of a Panasonic campaign to provide 100,000 solar lanterns to people in need by 2018. The aim is to improve and enhance the quality of life in emerging economies and developing countries with limited access to electricity.

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The handover ceremony was held yesterday (14/07) in Addis Ababa and was attended by Panasonic executive Noriko Tanaka, from Panasonic, Ambassador of Japan to Ethiopia Kazuhiro Suzuki and IOM Ethiopia Chief of Mission Maureen Achieng.

Thanking Panasonic, Achieng noted that the contribution highlighted how the private and humanitarian sectors can work together to help populations in need.

“Displacement often occurs in rural settings where social amenities like electricity are limited, a fact that further exacerbates the vulnerability of displaced populations, especially women and girls. These lanterns will contribute significantly to the protection of affected communities, reducing risks and insecurities and enabling them to pursue their lives and livelihoods in safety and dignity,” she said.

“The lanterns will also be made available for community spaces, including health posts, youth centres, for community policing and Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Offices,” she added.

Ambassador Suzuki noted that development should matter to everyone, including private companies. “This (contribution) will help pave the way for a new type of future cooperation between international organizations and private companies in the area of African development,” he said.

Tanaka said that the company will continue to contribute to the resolution of social challenges faced by people living in areas without access to electricity.

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Mridha Shihab Mahmud is a writer, content editor and photojournalist. He works as a staff reporter at News Hour. He is also involved in humanitarian works through a trust called Safety Assistance For Emergencies (SAFE). Mridha also works as film director. His passion is photography. He is the chief respondent person in Mymensingh Film & Photography Society. Besides professional attachment, he loves graphics designing, painting, digital art and social networking.
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