Refugees, host communities in Ethiopia to benefit from €30mln regional

Refugees, host communities in Ethiopia to benefit from €30mln regional development, protection programme

Refugees, host communities in Ethiopia to benefit from €30mln regional

Addis Ababa, February 22, 2017 (FBC) – The European Union (EU) and the Netherlands, in cooperation with Ethiopia and UN partners and implementing consortia have launched today a 30 million Euro program to address protection and development challenges of both refugees and host communities in the country.
The RDPP in Ethiopia focuses on Eritrean and Somali refugees and their host communities in Tigray, Afar, and Somali Regional States, as well as major urban centres, according to a statement the European Union sent to FBC today.

It aims to provide more sustainable integrated services for refugees with a focus on livelihood opportunities, education, water and energy, it said.

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The programme is officially launched by Ambassador Chantal Hebberecht, Head of the EU Delegation to Ethiopia, and Reina Buijs, Deputy Head of Development Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.

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Speaking during the launch, Ambassador Hebberecht hailed Ethiopia’s open-door policy towards refugees.

“The strategic approach of RDPP Ethiopia is to promote integrated solutions, which will benefit both refugees and host communities to ensure a more coordinated and sustainable use of funding and also to create greater self-reliance, stimulate socio-economic development and reduce tensions between refugees and host communities related for instance to scarcity of resources,” said Hebberecht.

Also speaking on the occasion, Zeynu Jemal, Ethiopian Deputy Director of the Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA), noted that the number of refugees in need of protection and assistance has increased sharply in the last few years.

The programme, funded through the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, is part of the wider RDPP in the Horn of Africa, which is led by the Netherlands in cooperation with the EU Delegation to Ethiopia.

The RDPP in Ethiopia is the second one to be launched, after Kenya, and will be followed by Somalia and Sudan. It will work closely with the refugee authorities (ARRA), local, regional and federal government, and other humanitarian and development stakeholders to ensure coordination and complementarity.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources,/World Bank ($ 100 mln), DfID (£125 mln) and others are in the process of rolling out similar projects in the country. These organizations also presented their programmes at the launch.

Ethiopia generously hosts the second-largest refugee population in Africa- almost 800,000 refugees from neighboring countries.

Posted by Amare Asrat