UNHCR Delegation Stresses Need for More Collaboration to Support Refugees

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A United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) delegation, which visited a newly built refugee camp for displaced Eritrean refuges near Dabat in Amhara region, called for more collaboration to support the refugees.

Regional Bureau for the East and Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes RegionDirector Clementine Nkweta-Salami, who visited Alem-Wach refugee camp, expressed confidence that working together with the government, partners and support of the international community, will enable to put in place structures that address the protection and the urgent assistance needs of the refugees.

 “From what I see so far, I am confident that working together with the government, partners and with support of the international community, we will be able to put in place structures that will address the protection and the urgent assistance needs of this population.”

Nkweta-Salami noted that the refugees have been living peacefully in Ethiopia for many years and even in some cases for decades.

“Unfortunately, the situation is such that they had to flee the existing camps, but what we see here is what we know as the traditional hospitality and generosity of the Ethiopian people and of the Ethiopian government in having made the site available for these people to now move to and to be resettled.” 

Director General at Refugees and Returnees Service, Tesfahun Gobezay said on his part the refugee camp was made after attack by the terrorist TPLF.

“The need to set up a new refugee camp is due to the heavy casualties suffered by Eritrean refugees living in Tigray in connection with the war waged by the terrorist TPLF,” he stated. 

According to him, the main reason for the establishment of the site is that the Eritrean refugee camps in Tigray have been severely damaged in connection with the TPLF-led war.

“It has often been reported that at the beginning of the war, refugees, especially children and adolescents, were subjected to numerous forms of abuse.”

Some 8,140 refugees have so far arrived at the, he revealed, adding that “we are working to provide them with housing and basic services.”

Eritrean refugees who were living in Hitsats and Shimeliba refugee camps were harassed by the terrorist group, the director general said.

Tesfahun said clean water facilities and toilets, including houses, have been constructed at the shelter, and other basic services will be provided in the future.