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PROSPECTS phase II launched in Ethiopia

Addis Ababa, March 22, 2024 (FBC) – The Government of the Netherlands, along with Ethiopia’s Refugees and Returnees Service (RRS), line Ministries, and other humanitarian and development agencies, announced the launch of the second phase of the PROSPECTS partnership on Thursday, a ground-breaking initiative designed to strengthen the resilience, self-reliance, and inclusion of forcibly displaced persons (FDPs) and host communities in Ethiopia.

Ethiopia is the third largest refugee-hosting country in Africa welcoming refugees primarily from South Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea, and Sudan. Recognizing the challenges refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs) and host communities face, the Netherlands’ government has been playing a pivotal role in bringing together humanitarian and development agencies to promote access to education, livelihoods, protection, and critical infrastructure for refugees, IDPs and host communities, it was indicated.

The first phase of the partnership program from 2020–2023 yielded significant results in targeted areas impacted by displacement across three pillars: Education and Training, Employment with Dignity, and Protection and Inclusion. As part of its New Way of Working, the partnership also promoted joint programming between the five PROSPECTS agencies representing innovative collaboration in the forced displacement space.

At the launch event held at the Netherlands Embassy in Ethiopia announcing PROSPECTS’ second phase from 2024 – 2027, representatives from the International Labor Organization (ILO), International Finance Corporation (IFC); United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF); and The World Bank (WB) underscored the impact of PROSPECTS during its first phase and anticipated even greater strides in the next four years.

Teyiba Hassen, Director General of the Refugees and Returnees Service highlighted the program’s significance, “The Ethiopian government is committed to creating a more inclusive and prosperous future for all, including refugees. We believe PROSPECTS will play a vital role in achieving this goal.”

She added, “We are actively enhancing the socio-economic inclusion of forcibly displaced people and strengthening host community resilience. Our recent inclusion of refugees and asylum seekers in the National Digital ID system exemplifies the commitment of the Government of Ethiopia to integrating refugees into national systems.”

She also emphasized the significance of collaboration and meaningful engagement of relevant stakeholders in the PROSPECTS partnership to foster a sense of togetherness and leading to better results for improving the management of forced displacement crises in Ethiopia.

Henk Jan Bakker, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Ethiopia, shared, “The Government of the Netherlands seeks to strengthen the prospects of refugees, IDPs and host communities in Ethiopia.

He added, “The Netherlands is proud to continue supporting the PROSPECTS program. This partnership aligns well with the Ethiopian government’s commitments including the pledges made at the 2023 Global Refugee Forum (GRF) and our government’s commitment to promoting sustainable solutions for forced displacement. By investing in education, job creation, protection and critical infrastructure, we can empower both refugees and host communities to build a more resilient future.”

The second phase of PROSPECTS will build on the outcomes from the first phase and focus on delivering concrete improvements in the lives of refugees, IDPs and host communities.

PROSPECTS is spearheaded by the Government of the Netherlands and brings together the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Bank (WB). The partnership aims to shift the paradigm from a humanitarian to a development approach in responding to forced displacement crises in line with the Government’s and beneficiaries’ priorities.

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