• Scaled-up response urgently required to more than 250,000 IDPs in Western Ethiopia
• Durable Solutions as nexus opportunity in Somali region: Lessons from SDC
• New law grants nearly a million refugees to exercise more rights in Ethiopia
• Nearly 36 million children in Ethiopia are poor and lack access to basic social services: report
• Humanitarian funding update
Humanitarian Coordianator calls for a scale-up response to displacement crisis in Western Ethiopia
The United Nations Humanitarian/Resident Coordinator (HC/RC a.i.) for Ethiopia Mr. Aeneas Chuma has called for a scaled-up response to an estimated 250,000 people displaced from Benishangul Gumuz into east/west Wollega zones of Oromia region and within Benishangul Gumuz region. The HC/RC reminded the Ethiopia Humanitarian Country Team (EHCT) members that very limited presence of operational partners coupled with constrained security in western Ethiopia has negatively impacted the response to immediate life-saving and protection needs of IDPs. On 14 January 2019, a mission led by the HC/RC visited Gomma Factory site in Nekemte town and two IDPs sites in Belo area of Sasiga woreda and observed that IDPs face shortage of food, shelter, and medicine. The visit also witnessed as many as 600 persons are confined in a hall in the IDP sites-posing serious protection concerns. Lack of access to education for IDPs children is also one area that needs to be addressed immediately. Humanitarian partners have been constrained from accessing five woredas in Kamashi zone, Oda Woreda of Assosa zone, and Mau Kumo Special Woreda in Benishangul Gumuz region due to the ongoing tense security situation in the areas.
The humanitarian community will continue to work with the Government of Ethiopia through the National Disaster Risk Management Commission (NDRMC) and the Oromia Disater Risk Management Commission to expand the emergency operation in east and west Wollega to boost the coordination structure.
Durable Solutions as nexus opportunity in the Somali region: Lessons from SDC
The dramatic growth in the volume, cost, and length of humanitarian assistance for over a decade in Ethiopia, in large part due to the protracted nature of crises, has given prominence to the long-standing discussion around better connectivity between humanitarian and development efforts. The largest number of stakeholders at the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) identified the need to strengthen the humanitarian-development nexus against the backdrop of the adoption of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
As Ethiopia is moving towards a multi-year strategy in which humanitarian and development actors envision a collective outcome in a given period of time, countries like Switzerland are already implementing a durable solution to IDPs in Somali region. The Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) in Ethiopia has been working in the Somali Regional State of Ethiopia since 2015. For SDC nexus has become one of the priority themes in the region motivated by the context where incidences of disasters have increased alongside the ever-weakened coping mechanisms of communities and weak government capacities requiring coherent approaches particularly in the Somali region.
Resilience building is an opportunity to secure sustainability linked to Agenda 2030 and achieve the objective to “Leave No-one Behind”. The SDC’s migration and protection programme engagement in building resilience in the Somali region includes supporting the government to find durable solutions for the displaced population and host communities. The support focuses on improving the wellbeing of IDPs through enhanced information management, capacity building, policy development and advocacy towards durable solutions. By supporting the regional government, SDC is strengthening the Durable Solutions Working Group (DSWG), established in 2014. Under the leadership of the regional Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Bureau (DPPB), and International Organization for Migration (IOM), SDC reactivated the group in 2016. The engagement with the Group has resulted in the development and endorsement of a Somali Region Durable Solutions Strategy. The group conducted multi-agency assessments in IDP relocation sites to inform partners on programming, and IDP intention survey in 10 conflict-induced IDP sites with Durable Solutions principles integrated.
The SDC support provided capacity building training for Somali regional sector bureaus on existing international, regional and national conventions, legal provisions, policies and strategies on the rights of IDPs including their rights for achieving durable solutions. The SDC will continue its work in the region to implement IDPs voluntary return, local integration and resettlement activities based on the interests of IDPs and host communities. It will deploy technical experts on Durable Solutions both at the regional and federal levels and will conduct IDP intention survey data collection activities in 45 IDP sites between January and April 2019.
Other areas where the SDC is looking at the nexus approach are through its health and food security programmes. The health programme focuses on improving access to the most vulnerable population i.e. pastoralist communities, to affordable high-quality health care in the Somali region. Focus is given to ‘One Health’ to improve the well-being of pastoralists through improving the governance and service delivery of the three sectors/pillars that pastoralism stands on i.e. livestock, people and natural resources management. To this end, a new thirteen and half year’s project will be launched in March 2019, which encompasses a crisis modifier as a rapid response to protect the developmental gains through early action for communities. The SDC’s food security resilience-building program aims at ensuring resilient and sustainable livelihoods and food security of the drought-prone pastoralists and agro-pastoralists in collaboration with the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) and the Ministry of Agriculture in collaboration, the Bureau of Livestock and Pastoralist Development (BoLPD) and Bureau of Agriculture & Natural Resources Development (BoLNRD).
New law grants more rights to refugees in Ethiopia
The House of Peoples' Representatives of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia on Tuesday (15 January 2019) passed a law that allows refugees in Ethiopia to exercise more rights. The law allows refugees to move out of the camps, attend regular schools and to travel and work across the country. They can also formally register births, marriages and deaths, and will have access to financial services such as bank account. Ethiopia’s revision of its refugee law comes just weeks after the UN General Assembly agreed to the Global Compact on Refugees on 17 December 2018. The New legislation is part of the “Jobs Compact— a US$500 million program which aims to create 100,000 jobs — 30 percent of which will be allocated to refugees.
Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA) said the new law would enhance the lives of refugees and host communities. The UN Refugee Agency welcomes Ethiopia’s historic new refugee law in a press statement released on 18 January 2019. “The passage of this historic law represents a significant milestone in Ethiopia’s long history of welcoming and hosting refugees from across the region for decades,” said Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees. “By allowing refugees the opportunity to be better integrated into society, Ethiopia is not only upholding its international refugee law obligations, but is serving as a model for other refugee-hosting nations around the world.”
Ethiopia currently hosts over 900,000 refugees, primarily from neighbouring South Sudan, Somalia, Sudan and, Eritrea, as well as smaller numbers of refugees from Yemen and Syria, making it Africa's second largest refugee population next Uganda. For more on this: https://reliefweb.int/node/2955609/
Nearly 36 million children in Ethiopia are poor and lack access to basic social services: new report
A joint press release by the Central Statistical Agency and UNICEF Ethiopia indicates that an estimated 36 million of a total population of 41 million children under the age of 18 in Ethiopia are multi-dimensionally poor, meaning they are deprived of basic goods and services in at least three dimensions. Titled “Multi-dimensional Child Deprivation in Ethiopia - First National Estimates,” the report studied child poverty in nine dimensions – development/stunting, nutrition, health, water, sanitation, and housing. Other dimensions included education, health related knowledge, and information and participation.
The study finds that 88 per cent of children in Ethiopia under the age of 18 (36 million) lack access to basic services in at least three basic dimensions of the nine studied, with lack of access to housing and sanitation being the most acute. The study reveals that there are large geographical inequalities: 94 per cent children in rural areas are multi-dimensionally deprived compared to 42 per cent of children in urban areas. Across Ethiopia’s regions, rates of child poverty range from 18 per cent in Addis Ababa to 91 per cent in Afar, Amhara, and SNNPR. Poverty rates are equally high in Oromia and Somali (90 per cent each) and Benishangul-Gumuz (89 per cent). For more on this: https://reliefweb.int/node/2953869/
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.