Partnering with Japan to build resilience of refugee hosting communities

May 4, 2018

A new programme has been launched to support refugee host communities and internally displaced persons in Gambella region, a region known for hosting more than 47% of refugees residing in the country.  

The UNDP programme, Enhancing Livelihood Restoration and Resilience of Refugee Hosting Communities and Internally Displaced Peoples, is implemented with 1.5 million USD financial support of the Government of Japan to respond to the restoration and peaceful co-existence of refugee and host communities.  The intervention seeks to help refugee hosting communities to cope with the environmental, economic and social impact of hosting a large influx of refugees.

The presence of large refugee population, now numbering higher than the host community, has significantly affected Gambella region. The host communities is sharing the limited resources, while itself lacking employment opportunities, services and mechanisms of coping with recurrent disasters and shocks.


UNDP’s newly designed programme will build on lessons from past interventions to respond to the complex and protracted crisis faced by the host community.  UNDP is also using this opportunity to call on the international community for partnership to invest on host in an attempt not to leave anyone behind as Ethiopia meets Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.  


The programme will support communities to restore their livelihoods through income generating activities, rehabilitation of the environment, and improving service delivery and increased social cohesion.


The programme launch in Gambela on 4th May 2018 brought together humanitarian and development actors as well as stakeholders engaged with the hosting and refugee communities’ to have an insightful discussions of building coordination mechanisms for effective implementation of the programme.


In February 2017 Ethiopia become one of the first countries to launch the Comprehensive Refugee Response framework to respond to the multifaceted needs of refugees and host communities. Ethiopia is applying the CRRF by committing to provide refugees with work permits, permanent residence IDs, employment, education as well as integration of refugees who have lived in Ethiopia for 20 or more years among others.

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