Ethiopia + 1 more

UNHCR Ethiopia: Operational Update (September 2021)

Situation Report
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Documentation of Eritrean refugees from Hitsats and Shimelba camps: In Addis Ababa, UNHCR, in partnership with the Agency for Refugees and Returnees Affairs (ARRA) and the Organization for Women in SelfEmployment (WISE) concluded the documentation of over 6,700 Eritrean refugees who fled the former Hitsats and Shimelba camps in northern Tigray region after the camps had been destroyed in January 2021. The registered refugees have been issued with three-year ID cards enabling them to open bank accounts, gain access to cash assistance, health services, durable solutions like resettlement or family reunification and provide protection against protection risks.

Decongesting Dollo Ado Reception Centre: UNHCR and ARRA are working to fast-track the relocation of over 3,000 asylum-seekers from Somalia who have been sheltered within and outside of the overcrowded Reception Centre in Dollo Ado in the Somali Region. To quickly decongest the Reception Centre, new arrivals will be relocated to the camps soon after registration. There they will be provided with materials to build their temporary shelters pending the provision of a more appropriate shelter solution.

Voluntary repatriation from Kenya: As part of the voluntary repatriation of Ethiopian refugees from Kenya that commenced in February 2020, UNHCR, together with the governments of Ethiopia and Kenya, facilitated the return of 122 refugees in August. Since February 2020, 820 refugees have returned home from Kenya. More than 1,000 others are expected to return before the end of the year. UNHCR supported the returnees with transportation and cash assistance to help them reintegrate in their areas of return.


Schools across the refugee camps remain closed for the summer holidays but are expected to reopen in early October. In the meantime, preparations are underway for the next academic year.

In the Gambella Region, as part of the LEGO Foundation’s ‘learning through play’ project, 256 boxes of Duplo LEGO Six Bricks (a hands-on tool for learning through fun and short activities) were distributed to UNHCR partners Plan International Ethiopia (PIE) and Save the Children (SCI) in different refugee camps to support learning through play. The items will facilitate practical and joyful learning activities at home and in classrooms. With the help of UNHCR, PIE has already piloted the project by implementing sessions that were facilitated by refugee children.

Shelter & CRIs

Support to IDPs: Of the planned construction of 200 IDP shelters in four districts within the Guji and Gedeo zones in the southern part of Ethiopia, 46 are nearly completed, while the remaining 154 are close to completion. UNHCR and its partner Action for the Needy in Ethiopia (ANE) are working to ensure that the construction works are finalized and handed over to the beneficiaries as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, UNHCR continues to deliver basic relief items, - including blankets, buckets, soap, kitchen sets and mosquito nets, to the most vulnerable internally displaced persons in the Tigray Region. Similar support was extended to 297 freshly displaced families in Sasiga Woreda of East Wollega zone of Oromia region, and to 1,000 displaced families in the Konso Zone of the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Regional State (SNNPR).

Support to refugees: In Bambasi refugee camp in the Benishangul-Gumuz Region, UNHCR distributed through ARRA 4,574 pieces of clothes to a selected group of vulnerable refugee women and girls.

The rehabilitation of three accommodation hangars at the Pagak Reception Centre, Gambella Region, is ongoing with 90% of the work completed to date. Internal roads have also been levelled and the drainage system improved, saving the centre from being overflooded as during previous rainy seasons.