Addis Ababa June 2/2023(ENA):-Refugees and Returnees Service (RRS) disclosed that Ethiopia has received more than 110,000 refugees this year alone from neighboring Sudan and Somalia.
The service added that the construction of new refugee shelters has been started in Matema, Amhara region and Kumruq, Benshangul-Gumuz region, to provide complete services for those refugees.
Ethiopia is one of the largest refugee host countries worldwide, it was indicated.
Moreover, the country has provided protection to refugees and asylum seekers from some 26 countries, predominantly from neighboring countries such as Sudan, South Sudan, Eritrea, and Somalia and among many others.
This history goes back to thousands of years when Ethiopia has had a well-known history in providing protection and hosting refugees since the seventh century by receiving the followers of the Prophet Muhammad.
In an exclusive interview with ENA, Deputy Director General of RRS, Mulualem Desta said that Ethiopia is known for providing protection to refugees who enter its territory.
As home to Africa’s largest refugee population, Ethiopia hosts more than one million refugees who have fled from various countries, the deputy director general indicated.
This year alone, Ethiopia has received more than 110,000 refugees from Somalia and Sudan displaced by conflict, he said, adding the country is providing the necessary humanitarian support in accordance with international principles.
“From Somaliland in the lower Dolo Ado region and following the current conflict in Sudan, we are hosting more than 110,000 refugees who have fled to Ethiopia in order to seek protection. Including the newcomers, it means that we are hosting over one million refugees. As a country, our door is open and we are receiving refugees who come to get protection from Ethiopia.”
According to Mulualem, following the ongoing conflict in Sudan, particular activities are being intensified in coordination with the stakeholders in Metama, Amhara region, Kumruq area, Benshangul-Gumuz region as well as Gambella region.
He explained of the total 30 refugees who have arrived in Metema town, we are hosting 6, 483 foreign refugees who have applied for asylum and protection.
The director further stated that activities have been started to build shelters on 57 hectares of land in Matema to provide complete services to refugees.
Due to the conflict in Somaliland, a new shelter has been built on the 400 hectares of land provided by the Somali region in Boa district of Dolo Zone which has thus far hosted more than 20,000 refugees.
He added that the international community, including the United Nations aid organizations has made good contribution in supporting refugees. However, the assistance is not quite adequate and has not been as expected, he pointed out.
Therefore, he called on international donors to maximize and strengthen their support to the refugees.
He also mentioned that Ethiopia does not only provide protection to refugees but also implements sustainable life improvement projects centered on refugees and host communities by enacting a progressive law.
For instance, he mentioned that in coordination with partners, successful development works have been carried out to ensure sustainable development benefits for refugees in the Somali region of Dolo Ado zone.
The deputy director general finally stated to strengthen such activities in order to alleviate the impact of refugees on the environment and on the receiving communities.