Out of 905,831 registered refugees in Ethiopia, 65,750 are in need of resettlement in 2018.
UNHCR Ethiopia’s resettlement submissions target for 2018 was 4,240 individuals to the USA, New Zealand, Sweden and Canada, which was revised downwards to 3,240 individuals.
To date, 2,136 refugees were referred to the RSC for onward submission to resettlement countries, 1,907 refugees have been submitted and 608 have departed.
Resettlement is an invaluable protection tool for UNHCR Ethiopia as it addresses the specific needs of refugees who are vulnerable due to their experiences in their country of origin and/or whose safety, health or other fundamental rights are at risk in Ethiopia, by providing them an opportunity to rebuild their lives in a new country.
Resettlement remains the primary durable solution available to refugees in Ethiopia due to the continued instability in neighboring countries rendering voluntary repatriation untenable. Opportunities for local integration remain limited although the future looks bright in this regard with Ethiopia as a focus country for the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF).
Resettlement as a durable solution is available only to those refugees who meet very precise criteria. Although over 65,000 refugees in Ethiopia satisfy these criteria, the primary constraint on resettlement abroad is the quota provided by countries of resettlement, which is far too low to meet current need.
As resettlement numbers are dictated by quota and not need, resettlement is not a right that can be claimed by refugees.
UNHCR Ethiopia identifies and addresses the needs of the vulnerable within all refugee populations hosted in the country, including those with specific needs as well as those in protracted situations. The main refugee populations resettled abroad from Ethiopia are Eritreans, Somalis, South Sudanese, Sudanese as well as a few refugees from the Great Lakes.
UNHCR Ethiopia’s resettlement submissions target for 2018 was set at 4,240 refugees, mainly to the USA, but had to be revised to 3,240. However, UNHCR continued to advocate for resettlement quota with different countries and has secured submissions to New Zealand, Sweden and Canada for 2018.
As of September 2018, 2,136 refugees were referred to the Regional Service Centre in Nairobi for onward submission to resettlement countries and 1,907 refugees have been submitted to resettlement countries.
In light of the changes that US made in relation to Somalis, UNHCR Ethiopia had to revise the overall target in September and it was adjusted to 3,240 individuals.