Ethiopia Weekly Humanitarian Bulletin, 13 May 2013

from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 13 May 2013

Refugee Update

A large number of Eritrean refugees continue to arrive in Tigray Region, with 1,365 refugees registered in April, including unaccompanied minors (UAM). This indicates the continuation of the unprecedented surge in new arrivals seen in March, when 1,480 refugees were registered. The development of the fourth camp at Hitsats is being expedited to accommodate the new arrivals, as the existing camps are quickly reaching full capacity. Shortage of shelter materials, however, remains a challenge. The unusually high number of UAM is also presenting additional challenges to UNHCR and ARRA. In conjunction with providing protection and basic assistance to the minors, UNHCR and partners are looking into durable solutions.

In Gambella Region, UNHCR and ARRA, are finalizing plans to relocate 6,000 of the nearly 16,000 South Sudanese asylum seekers living with host communities in Wanthowa woreda for over a year, to Pugnido camp. The remaining group, most of whom keep livestock, will be relocated once a new camp is established near their current location.

Pending the relocation, WFP started distributing a one-time food ration for the entire caseload on 24 April. Meanwhile, the area continues to receive new asylum seekers from Akobo County of South Sudan’s Jonglei State. The new arrivals cite renewed insecurity as their reason for flight. UNHCR and ARRA have yet to verify reports stating the arrival of some 7,000 additional people in Wanthowa since the validation exercise ended on 20 February. In Beneshangul Gumuz Region, UNHCR and ARRA relocated over 900 refugees from Sudan’s Blue Nile State from the border to Sherkole camp. The refugees have been living with host communities in the border area since 2011. An additional 2,000 are to be relocated in the coming weeks. The site for a fourth camp in the area has yet to be approved by local authorities.

The arrival rate of Somali refugees remains relatively low as a result of continued seasonal rainfall, with 957 refugees registered in April, down from 1,987 refugees in March and 4,726 in February. Overall, 3,263 new refugees arrived in April, including 1,365 from Eritrea, 957 from Somalia and 936 from the Sudans, bringing the total number of refugees hosted in Ethiopia at the end of April to 397,421. For more information, contact:

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

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