UNHCR intensifies assistance to refugees and asylum seekers in Ethiopia

A UNHCR worker at work in a refugee camp A UNHCR worker at work in a refugee camp Hosien Azour via Unsplash

9 December

Greater humanitarian support is directed to the Ethiopia region by the international community

At a press conference held in Geneva, UNHCR Representative in Ethiopia, Mamadou Dian Balde, outlined measures of humanitarian assistance to displaced refugees and families in northern Ethiopia. In the regions of Tigray, Afar and Amhara, the signing of the peace agreement has made humanitarian aid and other assistance more accessible. The UNHCR managed to send 61 trucks to Tigray, within which 2,400 tons of necessary goods – medicines, health kits, blankets, household items – were transported. In addition, 20,000 liters of fuel have been sent to ensure the transport of relief workers.

The UNHCR has been facilitated to resume relief operations in secondary locations such as Maichew, Adigrat and Abi Adi, n collaboration with the Ethiopian Government Refugee and Returnees Service (RRS) and other different partners. For instance, Balde  reported that more than 7000 Eritrean refugees stranded in western Tigray have been transferred to the Amhara region. With the return of peace, young generations  returned to a normal life, such as coming back  to school. In Afar, more than 900 refugees and displaced Eritreans have finally been transferred to several safe locations, such as the regional capital Semera and the Barahle camp.

With the aim of providing more durable, solid and human solutions, the Representative stressed the importance of maintaining continuous and coordinated assistance. The UNHCR has been working for years with the authorities in northern Ethiopia to support 2.1 million internally displaced people through the provision of protection, counselling and health care. In addition, the international community has also helped over 50,000 internally displaced people to return voluntarily to their homes in Tigray, Afar and Amhara. In conclusion, the Representative has called on the international community to continue economic, financial and technological support. 


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By Alessia Bertola 

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