Building Resilience of Refugee Hosting Communities

May 27, 2016

The government of Japan has provided US$1.4 million to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for a new intervention that seeks to enhance the livelihoods of host communities in the Gambela region of Ethiopia and strengthen peaceful co-existence with refugees.

The intervention builds on existing disaster risk management and livelihood recovery programmes implemented by UNDP in Ethiopia and targets four districts in Gambela that account for the largest refugee number.

Ethiopia hosts over 734,000 refugees coming in from neighbouring Somalia, Eritrea and South Sudan.

With the current El Nino crisis, the country is facing the worst drought in over 30 years.  Around 83% of the refugees communities are said to be found in priority 1 and 2 drought hotspot districts in Ethiopia.  

Gambela, which has a population of only around 396,000 hosts over 270,000 refugees from South Sudan.

The project will support income generating and livelihood restoration activities for over 24,500 individuals targeting 4,500 households. Support will also be provided to enhance local management of natural resources and rehabilitation of community infrastructures.

The intervention will also support efforts aimed at promoting peaceful co-existence of the host and refugee committees. This will be done by strengthening local peacebuilding mechanisms including local early warning and joint peacekeeping volunteers, organizing peace dialogues and trainings on conflict prevention for religious and traditional leaders as well as local officials.

UNDP will be partnering with the national DRM commission and the Disaster Prevention and Food Security Agency (DPFSA) in Gambela. Various bureaux such as those dealing with agriculture and natural resources, livestock and fisheries, peace and justice as well as the police will also be on board to support the programme.
UNHCR, WFP, FAO, ILO and IOM as well as other development partners will be engaged regularly to ensure that the new project complements existing intervention in the area.

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