EU and Netherlands launch 30 million euro refugee programme in Ethiopia
In an aim to decrease the outward flow of irregular migrants, the EU and the Netherlands have launched a 30 million euro programme focused on refugee and host communities in Ethiopia.
The regional programme, which mainly focuses on Eritrean and Somali refugees and the communities hosting these refugees, will seek to provide basic social services and livelihood opportunities. The EU hopes that by improving livelihoods for refugees and host communities in Ethiopia fewer irregular migrants seeking to make their way from Ethiopia to European countries.
The programme was officially launched by the Head of the EU Delegation in Ethiopia and the Deputy Head of Development Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, on 22 February.
The programme is funded through the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa. A similar programme has been set up in Kenya and two more are planned for Somalia and Sudan. The programme will work closely with refugee authorities, local, regional and federal government, and other humanitarian and development stakeholders to ensure close coordination.
A number of other EU countries and development organizations are working to establish similar programmes in Ethiopia, in the belief that providing people with livelihood opportunities is an important first step towards stemming the illegal and dangerous trafficking of migrants.
Ethiopia hosts the second-largest refugee population in Africa, with nearly 800,000 refugees from neighbouring countries living there.