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News: IOM appeals for US$77.6 m to help more than 1.2 m internally displaced Ethiopians

Living conditions for IDPs, returnees and many host communities are dire, IOM said.

Addis Abeba, March 14/2020 – The International Organization for Migration (IOM), launched an appeal yesterday for USD77.6 million to provide humanitarian assistance to more than 1.2 million internally displaced persons (IDPs), returnees, host community members and migrants in Ethiopia.

“The East African [state] faces some of the most complex migration issues in the world. Social, economic, political and climatic change factors drive populations to leave their homes both from within and outside Ethiopia’s borders, IOM said in the appeal document.

Ethiopia continues to receive migrants and refugees, 88,044 between January and October last year, particularly from neighboring Eritrea, South Sudan and Somalia. “While Ethiopia’s displacement landscape shifted significantly in 2019, basic needs remain high.”

IOM said that relocation assistance to refugees was a “vital lifesaving operation” and cautioned that “failure to do so may result in increased humanitarian needs and protection concerns for refugee and host communities.”

Living conditions for IDPs, returnees and many host communities are dire. Shelter, safe access to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH), basic health services, and critical non-food items (NFIs) are urgently needed. “IOM Ethiopia plans to provide support following two principal objectives: saving lives while responding to the humanitarian crisis and supporting the transition and recovery of crisis-affected communities,” said Ester Ruiz de Azua, IOM Ethiopia’s Emergency and Post-Crisis Program Coordinator.

Community-based stabilization, peace-building and reconciliation efforts are needed to resolve and prevent further conflict-induced internal displacement.

In response, IOM Ethiopia aims to provide comprehensive data collection through the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), Shelter and Non-food Item (NFI) programs, WASH interventions, site management support, mental health and psychosocial support, refugee transportation, assistance to vulnerable returnees from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and emergency health support in conflict-affected areas, the appeal document highlighted.

“For crisis-affected communities, IOM Ethiopia seeks to continue supporting the government in achieving durable solutions which include voluntary return, local integration, and relocation in various regions of the country.” Peace-building and peace preservation, community stabilization and displacement tracking for recovery and crisis prevention are also a strong focus for this year.

“We call on the donor community to continue providing life-saving support to the people of Ethiopia. This appeal aims to reach 1.2 million people in need. The international community must act in this critical moment — for Ethiopia 2020 and beyond,” said Ruiz de Azua. Dispatch/AS

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