Ethiopia fulfilling needs of refugees, asylum seekers: UNHCR

UNHCR

Ethiopia, one of the largest refugee-hosting countries in Africa, has been properly fulfilling the basic needs of refugees, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

In its November Fact Sheet, UNHCR said Ethiopia has been executing refugee programs to ensure that their basic needs are met.

UNHCR acknowledges that Ethiopia has been implementing refugee projects on education, health, food security and nutrition, shelter, water and sanitation, access to energy, among other areas that would adequately ensure the benefit of refugees.

Following the programs, some 255 refugee students have been placed in different public universities in this academic year, joining hundreds of others who have already been enrolled in the previous years.

However, the shelter has remained a problem, as 131,186 households, equivalent to 54 per cent of the total refugee population are in need of transitional shelter solutions.

According to UNHCR, 40,000 transitional shelters are targeted to be constructed country-wide by the end of 2019.

Despite the efforts of Ethiopia and UNHCR, providing resettlement opportunities remains a top priority as conditions for voluntary repatriation are unfavourable for most refugees and local integration programs are yet to be put in place.

As of Oct. 31, 2019, some 3,410 individuals have been referred to different resettlement countries, surpassing the original plan of 3,000, UNHCR said.

UNHCR said it is building on coordination fora, including the inter-sector Refugee Coordination Group, together with national and regional sector working groups.

Ethiopia, one of the largest refugee-hosting countries in Africa, is sheltering over 700,000 registered refugees and asylum seekers.

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