UNHCR, Ethiopia Call for More Support to over 900,000 Refugees in Ethiopia

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 December 02/2021 (ENA) The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the Ethiopian Refugees and Returnees Service have called for more robust support to the over 900,000 refugees sheltered in Ethiopia.

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Ethiopia, which is working to transform the livelihood of refugees as promised based on the most progressive proclamation in effect, currently hosts over 900,000 refugees from 29 countries.

Refugees and Returnees Service has organized a National Global Refugee Forum (GRF) pledge stocking workshop today.

Refugees and Returnees Service Director-General, Tesfahun Gobzay on the occasion told journalists that Ethiopia is realizing its promises and the international community should step up support to the refugees as pledged.

Ethiopia is providing the necessary resources and support to the refugees, but the support from the international community, which depends on mere willingness, is not coming as pledged, he pointed out.  

“We have enacted a binding proclamation to supporting the refugees. This makes measurement and assessment of the performance easy,” he stated.

“But the international community does not have a legal duty to obey; it depends on willingness,” Tesfahun stressed.

“So, we are not carrying the problems equally,” he said, adding that the support to the refugees “is not coming as pledged. It’s decreasing from year to year.”

Noting that COVID-19 could have created additional burden, especially in the past year, he stressed  the need to assess the performance of all those who pledged to support the refugees.

UNHCR Representative, Mamadou Dian Balde on his part said UN agencies and partners should pull heads together to support the Government of Ethiopia as pledged in 2019.

Noting that support is coming and being realized, the representative said, the support coming in to support the refugees in cooperation with the government may not be enough.

“Refugees need support, the government needs support. The government has made very important commitment and I think support is coming. Support is being realized.”

But, “Is it enough support?” he asked and continued “Perhaps no, but we need to do more. We need to put our heads together, much more our expertise, our technical support and our financial support.”

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