UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and its partners, are asking for urgent international support for refugee operations in Ethiopia, seeking for USD658 million to assist over 735,000 refugees and more than half a million Ethiopian hosts in 2020.
Last year, the agency spent USD351 million to finance its refugee operations in Ethiopia. International support and solidarity was vital to ensure the implementation of the wide range of rights granted to refugees by Ethiopia during the last three years, the Agency said.
The Ethiopia Refugee Response Plan was launched in Addis Ababa this morning, covering humanitarian activities by UNHCR and 57 other humanitarian partners.
The plan seeks to address huge gaps in health and nutrition, education, and shelter, while also investing in sectors including sanitation, energy and livelihoods.
In January last year, Ethiopia adopted progressive laws, which allow refugees to obtain work permits, access primary education and obtain drivers’ licenses. Additionally, they enable refugees to register essential events such as births and gain access to national financial services, such as banking.
Ethiopia has a long history of hosting refugees and asylum seekers. It is currently hosting more than 735,000 from 26 nationalities, the majority from South Sudan (329,123), Somalia (191,575), Eritreans (139,281) and Sudan (42,285). The number of refugees is expected to grow substantially during the course of the year as the country continues to receive refugees with nearly 100,000 new arrivals last year.