Ethiopia Moves to Ease Burden of Internally Displaced People

ADDIS ABEBA – The Ethiopian government and its development partners launched on Friday a new initiative that will create conducive conditions for internally displaced persons (IDPs) to rebuild their lives.

There are about over 140,000 displaced people living in temporary shelters across the country, according to a government report.

The newly launched Durable Solution Initiative (DSI) facilitates collective actions and cooperation at the national, regional, local level in tandem with the international community.

The initiative – developed by the Government of Ethiopia, and its development partners – will address the issue of internally displaced persons in a very structural way, said Muferiat Kemil, Minster of Peace.

Officials seek to ensure internally displaced communities in the country are supported to either return, integrate or relocate voluntarily.

“It is an all-inclusive strategy that would allow the government to resolve and reduce the issue of IDPs and make them resilient by building the livelihood of displaced people,” Muferiat added.

The initiative plans to provide startup capital, social protecting benefits, access to adequate affordable housing and integration of displacement affected communities into development programs and projects.

It is “creating enabling conditions for all internally displaced persons to achieve a durable solution permanently”, Steven Were Omamo, UN Resident Coordinator, told The Daily Monitor.

Last year, Ethiopia recorded one of the highest numbers of internally displaced persons in the world, with border conflicts as the primary driver.

Up to 2.3 million people were displaced since the beginning of 2016 as a result of conflicts and climate-induced problems, said Mitiku Kassa, Commissioner of National Disaster and Risk Management Commission.

That number, however, has now reduced to a little over 140,000 IDPs, according to government.

“The newly launched initiative will address challenges faced both by returnees and displaced people who are still residing in shelters,” he added.

A ‘durable solution’ is said to be achieved when internally displaced persons no longer have any specific assistance and protection needs linked to their displacement, according to the Switzerland-based Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC).

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By Sisay Sahlu

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