Ethiopia Lifts Suspension on Norwegian Refugee Council

ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopian authorities have lifted the five-month long suspension imposed on the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), the aid agency said on Wednesday.

End of July, the Authority for CSOs or ACSO suspended the working permits of three foreign aid agencies including NRC for three months after repeated discussions with their officials were unable to fix the situation.

The agencies were accused of engaging in disseminating misinformation campaign against Ethiopia “outside of the mandate and purpose for which the organizations were permitted to work”.

In October, the suspension on NRC’s working permit was further prolonged by two months after the board of the ACSO required further explanation regarding the accusations.

After providing answers and explanations to all allegations and questions made throughout the process, the ACSO lifted the suspension on 31 December with a “strict warning”, said NRC said in a statement today.

“We are relieved”

The decision to lift the suspension was officially communicated in a letter sent to NRC on 3 January 2022.

“We are relieved that the suspension that temporarily discontinued our humanitarian work for hundreds of thousands of people in great need has been lifted,” said NRC Secretary General Jan Egeland.

“We look forward to resume our many years of humanitarian operations for refugees in Ethiopia, and for people displaced by conflict and disasters,” said Egeland.

The secretary General also said the agency is looking forward to renewing its dialogue with the government.

“We will continue to work with local, national and international partners to provide aid and protection according to international humanitarian law and principles,” Egeland added.

At the time of suspension, NRC said it had reached more than 250,000 people in Ethiopia, and was aiming to reach double the amount by the end of this year.


[Featured Image File/NRC]