Fana: At a Speed of Life!

Ethiopia surpasses bold commitments to improve lives of refugees and host communities

Addis Ababa, June 16, 2023 (FBC) – Ethiopia has surpassed the bold commitments it made at the first Global Refugee Forum (GRF) to improve the lives of refugees and host communities in the country, according to the Refugees and Returnees Service (RRS).

This was disclosed yesterday at a national stakeholder workshop organized to take stoke of processes, best practices, challenges and supports, and future engagements that will be tabled in December 2023 at the Global Refugee Forum (GRF) high level meeting in Geneva.

At the first Global Refugee Forum (GRF) in 2019, Ethiopia has made ambitious pledges to enhance protection and solutions for refugees and host communities. The pledges included job and livelihoods, education, protection/capacity, and energy/environment, it was learned.

In his opening remark to the workshop, Refugees and Returnees Service Director-General Tesfahun Gobezay told ENA that 76 percent of refugees are hosted in developing countries where resources are scarce, service and infrastructure are lacking in meeting the need of those seeking refuge.

“Ethiopia is no exception to this harsh reality. It has (however) consistently showed solidarity towards those who seek refugees in its borders.”

According to him, the country has remained steadfast to its promises in ensuring reception and hosting of asylum seekers during both times of peace and stability as well as during periods marked by challenges and misfortunes.

As one of the primary refugee hosting countries globally, Ethiopia has been playing a pivotal leadership role during the preparatory phase at the forum itself based on its convening role in the first Global Refugee Forum.

At the event the nation announced more commitments in the areas of jobs, livelihood, education and protection as well as energy and environment, the director-general recalled.

With Ethiopia’s determination to revamp its promises and the firm commitment and collective efforts of the government as well as development partners and donors, we have achieved good results in all areas, he added.

“So far Ethiopia has made significant progress in creating a favorable environment for refugees by implementing directives that align with its progressive refugee proclamation ratified in 2019. We have managed to create economic opportunities for more than 100,000 refugees and members of the communities hosting them. Besides, over 11,900 individuals from the refugees and host communities benefited from quality and accredited skills training.”

Tesfahun noted that the finding of this workshop will provide crucial support to RRS and UNHCR and other relevant stakeholders at national level.

“It will enable us to capitalize on key achievements by identifying remaining tasks and address any gaps that need to be filled before December 2023 GRF.”

UNHCR Country Representative to Ethiopia, Mamadou Balde

UNHCR Country Representative, Mamadou Balde said on his part that Ethiopia has remained generous to refugees despite all the internal and external challenges.

Since January 2023 we have got two emergencies in this country, close to 100,000 refugees were received from February 2023 in the Somali region coming from Laascanod, he noted.

The representative added that since February to April 2023, we have got the situation in Sudan and refugees have been coming through; and very unfortunately, if there is no peace we will keep having more and more refugees coming here.

“If there is no peace, we might receive many more refugees, adding to the 50,000 Sudanese refugees we already host in the Benishangul-Gumuz.”

According to Balde, Ethiopia has been at the forefront of the rolling out of the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework and the innovative policies as well as the way we are responding to the new arrival is solution from the start.

Representatives from ministries, UN agencies, embassies, donors and humanitarian/ development partners that are supporting the refugee response in Ethiopia have attended the workshop.


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