Fana: At a Speed of Life!

Ethiopia appeals for concerted response amid influx of refugees, asylum seekers

Addis Ababa, October 12, 2023 (FBC) – Ethiopia has appealed for swift and concerted response amid the growing emergency of the increasing influx of refugees and asylum seekers to the country following conflict and other factors within the Horn of Africa region.

That call was made by the Director-General of Refugees and Returnees Service, Ms. Teyiba Hasen at the 74th Executive Committee Meeting of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees which commenced on 09 October 2023 in Geneva, Switzerland.

The meeting, which will continue until 13 October, aims to address shared concerns and pressing issues pertaining to the global refugee operation.

Addressing the 74th ExCom, Teyiba highlighted the achievements of Ethiopia in enhancing refugee protection and self-reliance.

She also outlined challenges and discussed the way forward in her country’s refugee operation.

The DG reckoned that Ethiopia is shouldering huge burden by hosting nearly one million refugees and asylums seekers.

In that regard, she made it crystal clear that it is high time to collectively respond to the growing emergency of the increasing influx of refugees and asylum seekers to the country following conflict within the Horn of Africa region.

DG Teyiba thanked UNHCR and partners for their support and called them to demonstrate concrete solidarity to refugees and host countries, emphasizing the principle of burden and responsibility sharing.

She further highlighted the impact of underfunding on critical social services, particularly health and education. She also raised concern how scarcity of fund is affecting our emergency responses.

In a parallel session, “Multi” to “Mega”: Mobilizing Collective Action through Multi-Stakeholder Pledges at the Global Refugee Forum also took place. During this event, Minister Counselor of the Permanent Mission of Ethiopia to the UN in Geneva Daniel Tenkir presented possible pledges from Ethiopia as well as the joint statement of the human settlement group of friends.

Furthermore, Teyiba Hassen and her Deputy Bruhtesfa Mulugeta held a bilateral meeting with State PRM Assistant Secretary Julieta Valls Noyes and Deputy Assistant Secretary Elizabeth Campbell. The discussions focused on the resumption of food distribution and resettlement opportunities for refugees.

The Ethiopian delegation also engaged in discussions with UNHCR Assistant High Commissioner for Operations Raouf Mazou and Regional Bureau Head Mamadou Dian Balde. The talks centered around establishing a strategic partnership to address the refugee operation in Ethiopia and the broader region. They emphasized the need to mobilize resources from various funders to effectively manage the growing refugee operation in Ethiopia. Additionally, the parties explored ways to leverage efforts to meet the needs of Persons of Concern (PoCs).

The Ethiopian delegation is composed of DG Teyiba Hassen, Ambassador Tsegab Kebebew, Deputy Director General Bruhtesfa Mulugeta, RRS Program Head Zewdu Bedada and Minister Counselor Daniel Tenkir.

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