WFP Calls on Donors to Step-up Support for Somaliland Refugees in Ethiopia


Addis Ababa March 16/2023 (ENA)   The World Food Program (WFP) has urged donors to step up the level of support for some 100,000 Somaliland refugees who have fled to Ethiopia   recently. 

Recall that about 100,000 Somaliland refugees, most of them women, pregnant and lactating mothers, unaccompanied children, elderly persons with serious medical conditions and disabilities, arrived at Doolo Zone of Somali Region, Ethiopia. 

In an exclusive interview with ENA, WFP Representative and Country Director Claude Jibidar said it is a sad situation to witness those Somaliland citizens forced to flee their homes due to conflict.

Citing the gravity of the problem, he stated that WFP has “already provided some distributions. Distribution of food has been started and delivered for those people.”

Partners too have been supplying water, shelter, and everybody is mobilized to respond, the country director said, adding that it seems like this is a situation that will not change overnight.

Therefore “we need to step up the level of support so that we can sustain those people until they can go back home,” Jibidar said.

“My appeal is to all the supporters. I know the government through Ethiopia’s Refugees and Returnees Service is doing a lot to support and we will also do our best. I am also appealing to donors to look at this situation so that we can help those people while they are here.” 

The WFP representative also expressed readiness to help the refugees when they go back and can resettle in their own home.   

The Ethiopian host communities have generously welcomed the refugees, sharing them the little they have in one of the areas hardest hit by drought affecting the Horn of Africa. 

The Refugees and Returnees Service and the UNHCR have together affirmed last week that many of the families have settled within the communities in common buildings or in open areas. 


“The Government of Ethiopia, having maintained its longstanding generosity to asylum seekers, is receiving the needy by keeping the humanitarian and civilian nature of the overall response,” Refugees and Returnees Service (RRS) Director-General Tesfahun Gobezay said. 

According to him, “RRS and the UNHCR are coordinating with federal and regional government bodies, UN agencies and other partners to respond to the needs of the newly arrived asylum-seekers.” 

UNHCR Country Representative Mamadou Dian Balde noted that Ethiopians have “once again shown tremendous generosity by keeping their doors open for their Somali brothers and sisters in need of protection.”  




Ethiopian News Agency