Ethiopia Plans to Close 27 Refugee Camps
By Eskender Frew, VOA
December 3, 2017
The government of Ethiopia says it will close all 27 refugee camps in its territory over the next 10 years and integrate residents into local communities.
"There will be a gradual transition from a camp-based protection model to supporting refugees directly within host communities,” Zeynu Jemal, deputy director of the Administration for Refugees and Returnees Affairs (ARRA), told VOA's Horn of Africa Service.
Ethiopia hosts more refugees than all but one other country in Africa, according to the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR). More than 850,000 refugees from South Sudan, Somalia, Yemen and Eritrea live in camps jointly run by the U.N. and the government.
For more than two years, young unaccompanied Eritreans have escaped to Ethiopia's Mai-Aini refugee camp to begin a journey full of risks.
In September 2016, European leaders pledged to support the creation of jobs for refugees in sub-Saharan Africa with the aim of curbing migration to Europe.
Ethiopia was assured of a $500 million aid and loan package from the European Investment Bank in exchange for providing work permits to refugees.
In doing so Ethiopia has secured much-needed capital for its projects and hopes to create at least 60,000 jobs for its citizens, in addition to the jobs for refugees.
“The pledges Ethiopia made and the actions it is taking today are exemplary and inspire many African states,” said Daniel Endres, a UNHCR official.
A Reader's Comment
It is a joke that Ethiopia creates job for foreign refuges in Ethiopia while Ethiopian citizens are in dire need for job. Even university graduates in engineering and health have difficulties in getting jobs as small as daily laborers in Ethiopia. The so called government is doing some business in making this unrealistic process. Probably the motive of the government is to pretend as a nice government to donors so that it can get money as aid. (Obssa)
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