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Ethiopia demonstrates commitment by action in hosting refugees, asylum seekers: UNHCR

Addis Ababa, October 10, 2023 (FBC) – The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Country Representative Andrew Mbogori said Ethiopia has demonstrated its complete commitment by action in providing services for refugees and asylum seekers for many years.

Ethiopia has been praised by the international community for welcoming and hosting refugees and asylum seekers from neighboring countries and beyond as the East African nation is one of the largest refugee-hosting countries in the world.

Speaking to ENA, the Country Representative said the approach of the UNHCR and Ethiopia here is a solution based from the onset and try to provide solutions for refugees immediately when they arrive.

Hence, Ethiopia has demonstrated this by establishing settlements rather than refugee camps where refugees are able to be involved in livelihood, where refugees and the host communities live together, Mbogori pointed out.

The UNHCR and the government provide basic services including education, health, roads, water to both the refugees and host communities, he affirmed.

Parsing Ethiopia for its full commitment in providing support for refugees, he further noted “This is the complete commitment by the Ethiopian government, by action that the things we have actually agreed to do, we are very happy and very grateful to the government of Ethiopia for providing asylum to refugees.”

Ethiopia is providing asylum to refugees from Sudan, and Somalia, he said, adding this has been done in the best possible way.

“We will continue to work together with the government of Ethiopia to provide better protection for these new arrivals from Sudan and Somalia.”

Regarding the role of embracing peace in the region for returning refugees home, he said “We hope that the peace initiatives which are ongoing in the region will bear fruits then refugees are able to return home one day.”

For the country representative, “UNHCR and the government of Ethiopia have been great partners for so many years. For many years, Ethiopia has continued to host a huge number of refugees and this commitment between the government of Ethiopia and UNHCR will continue.”

Stating that the partnership of Ethiopia and the UNHCR has grown strong under the leadership of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, Mbogori further reiterated that “We will continue to strengthen this collaboration in order to give refugees better protection.”

Recall that Ethiopia hosts nearly one million refugees and asylum seekers from neighboring countries and beyond.

On the other hand, the new Director-General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Amy E. Pope is in Ethiopia for official working visit.

During her stay in Ethiopia, she will hold meetings with the Government and the African Union Commission officials, donors, partners and IOM staff.

This visit is her 1st official trip since assuming office this month as Director-General of IOM.

Both IOM and UNHCR play important roles in supporting refugees and migrants, with different mandates and areas of focus. While IOM focuses on the management of migration, UNHCR focuses on the protection of refugees and asylum seekers.

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