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UN agency calls for increased funding to meet
needs of over 900,000 refugees in Ethiopia  

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Wednesday called for increased funding to meet the needs of 905,831 refugees in Ethiopia.

In a press statement, UNHCR said as of September 11, it has only been able to receive 69.5 million U.S. dollars of the total 327.8 million U.S. dollars it needs to meet the basic needs of refugees in Ethiopia until the end of 2018.

UNHCR further said it’s receiving an increasing number of Eritreans who are crossing into Ethiopia following the re-opening of the two countries’ borders, making its humanitarian financial assistance appeal even more urgent.

“Following the Joint Declaration of Peace and Friendship, signed on July 9, 2018, between former bitter rivals Ethiopia and Eritrea, two border crossing points were re-opened on September 11, 2018. The reopening has resulted in a significant increase in the number of new arrivals from Eritrea, with the average daily rate of arrivals increasing from 53 to 390 individuals,” said the UNHCR statement.

Eritrean refugees allege indefinite military conscription, lack of meaningful economic activity and political repression as reasons why they fled their home country to Ethiopia. Ethiopia is also home to large group of refugees from South Sudan and Somalia fleeing internal strife and drought conditions.

Smaller groups of refugees fleeing war in Sudan and from Yemen are also part of the group the UNHCR has registered as refugees in Ethiopia.

UNHCR also said Ethiopia’s own humanitarian crisis with 2.8 million people internally displaced, as a result of climate change and communal clashes, are also straining financial resources which would otherwise have been allocated to meeting the needs of refugees in Ethiopia.


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