UNHCR discloses funding gap to meet needs of refugees, IDPs in Ethiopia

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The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Monday disclosed it only received 39 percent of the 385.1 million U.S. dollars it needs to meet the needs of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and refugees in Ethiopia.

The UNHCR in its monthly fact sheet said it’s working to meet the needs of refugees and IDPs despite the funding gap and incidence of armed conflicts in some of the areas it operates.

“The UNHCR continues to respond to the situation of IDPs in Ethiopia, leading the Protection Cluster and providing protection, emergency aid and other support to IDPs and IDP returnees, including those displaced by recent flooding and conflict,” said the UNHCR monthly fact sheet.

The UNHCR said despite the funding constraints, it’s currently engaged in the training of health personnel as well as the distribution of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), and essential medicines and materials to strengthen health services in refugee camps in Ethiopia.

UNHCR also said it’s supporting the Inter-agency COVID-19 response to the IDP situation by providing PPEs and sanitation materials, equipping isolation and quarantine centers and providing community sensitization.

Ethiopia’s confirmed COVID-19 cases reached 131,195 after 423 new COVID-19 positive cases were confirmed, the Ethiopian Ministry of Health said on Monday morning.

As of Dec. 31, 2020, the UNHCR has registered 802,821 refugees and asylum seekers in Ethiopia, most of whom are housed in refugee camps in six regional states.

Ethiopia currently hosts the second-largest refugee population in Africa, next to Uganda.

Refugees in Ethiopia primarily come from Eritrea, South Sudan, Somalia, and Sudan, according to figures from the Ethiopian government.

Ethiopia also has several million IDPs, including 2.2 million people displaced by the outbreak of conflict in the country’s northern Tigray regional state last November.

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