Ethiopia: Tigray Regional State 2019 pledge progress report



This document is based on Ethiopia’s 2016 Leaders’ Summit ‘pledge commitments’ as articulated in the ‘Roadmap’ 1 of 2017. Combined with the baselines expressed in the Roadmap, and follow-up reports drafted for 2018, information presented in this 2019 Pledge Progress Report for Ethiopia’s Tigray Regional State is commencing to form a foundation for tracking and evidence-based follow up on the pledges. Nationally and in the regions, pledge implementation is clearly advancing, attesting to the impressive commitment of the people and the Government of Ethiopia (GoE), especially with support from various line ministries and bureaus, and the Agency for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA).
Compiled as a UNHCR publication, this report serves the wider stakeholder community pursuing and supporting the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) and Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) in Ethiopia. Such data gathering, compilation and presentation is part of UNHCR’s expected supportive and catalytic role in the GCR.

Ethiopia’s Nine 2016 Pledges

Out of Camp Pledge

  1. Expansion of the “Out-of-Camp” policy to benefit 10% of the current total refugee population.

Education Pledge

  1. Increase of enrolment in primary, secondary and tertiary education to all qualified refugees without discrimination and within the available resources.

Work and Livelihoods Pledges

  1. Provision of work permits to refugees and to those with permanent residence ID, within the bounds of domestic law.

  2. Provision of work permits to refugees in the areas permitted for foreign workers, by giving priority to qualified refugees.

  3. Making available irrigable land to allow 100,000 people (amongst them refugees and local communities) to engage in crop production.

  4. Building industrial parks where a percentage of jobs will be committed to refugees.

Documentation Pledges

  1. Provision of other benefits such as issuance of birth certificates to refugee children born in Ethiopia, possibility of opening bank accounts and obtaining driving licenses.

Social and Basic Services Pledge

  1. Enhance the provision of basic and essential social services.

Local Integration Pledge

  1. Allowing for local integration for those protracted refugees who have lived for 20 years or more in Ethiopia.

In Tigray, highlights are especially in documentation – particularly as regards to bank accounts - as well as with substantial potential demonstrated for agricultural productivity.
Education: Progress has been made overall in education with a nine percent (9%) increase in refugee student enrolment from 2018. The Regional Education Bureau (REB) has started supporting the education system in refugee schools.
However, in terms of Gross Enrolment Ratios (GER), Tigray has alarming statistics for secondary education: GERs at only two percent (2%) in Adi-Harush and Hitsats refugee camps4 – and seven percent (7%) overall, against the Roadmap target of 25%. In secondary education there was a 35% drop in enrolment figures recorded. There are factors to consider, including onward movement of youth. The Gender Parity Index (GPI)5 for secondary Education is 0.46, according to the index that means less than one third of students completing high school are female.
GER for pre-primary (42%) and primary (64%) are better – yet still well below pledge targets. In 2019, 15 refugee students have enrolled in universities with 24 graduating. 2,247 refugees and host community members (197) have been graduated from TVETs in 2019.
Work and Livelihood Irrigable land: Refugees cultivate irrigable land with various arrangements with local landowners in the refugee hosting woredas. Refugees are also engaged in the livestock sector in poultry farms (government subsidized packages), dairy farming, raring cattle and shoats. Almost 50 ha of land was made available for hosts and refugees (11 ha available for refugees, 43 refugees benefiting from it).
Other work and livelihood opportunities: Assessments were conducted and working groups established to provide livelihood opportunities for refugees. Startup capital was provided to organized urban refugee youth in Shire town. A total of 178 livelihood opportunities were provided to host community (83) and refugees (95).
Documentation: 9,340 bank accounts were provided for refugees and 1,341 vital events were registered.
Social and Basic Services Health: Refugees have received primary health care, TB, RH, HIV and other medical services. Refugees were also included in routine and mass immunization campaigns. A total of 2,540 Refugees in Tigray accessed secondary and tertiary health services through the referral system. Prevention activities such as home-to-home awareness raising by community health workers, distribution of IEC material, environmental cleaning, and sanitation/ hygiene campaign programs were conducted.
Local Integration: Refugees and hosts share culture, language and religion which contributes to the potential for socio-economic inclusion.
Out of Camp: In Tigray region 1,070 refugees were registered as living out of camp at the end of 2019 – just over one percent of the total refugee population in the region. However, nationally, many of the refugees in Ethiopia benefitting from OCP hail from the Tigray region as their first point in seeking asylum.