ADDIS ABEBA- Preparation of a ten-year national comprehensive refuge response strategy is on a final stage, says Ethiopia’s ministry of peace on Wednesday.
The strategy aims to ease the integration effort of refugees to host communities, said Zeyinu Jemal, state minister of peace.
Home to Africa’s second-largest refugee population after Uganda, Ethiopia hosts more than 900,000 people who have fled conflict, drought and persecution in neighboring countries such as South Sudan, Sudan, Somalia and Eritrea.
Ethiopian lawmakers have already approved a proclamation that gives refugees the right to work and live outside of camps, in a move praised for providing them with more dignity and reducing reliance on foreign aid.
The strategy which aims at creating self-reliant and resilient refugees is expected to be approved by the council of minster soon, according to the minister.
When it’s approved, it will help to implement the law in a detailed manner, said Zeynu.
The country is currently providing refugees access to education from elementary to higher education institutions.
That will help them compete for any job opportunities throughout the country, said the deputy minister of peace.
Meanwhile, the state minister has indicated that close to 90,000 internally displaced people are still in shelters in Ethiopia.
More than two million Ethiopians have been forced to leave their homes due to ethnic violence and drought-related challenges in 2018 and 2019. Most of them were displaced from the Amhara, Somali, Oromia, and Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People’s (SNNP) regions.
By Sisay Sahlu