School peace clubs are helping youth to build their knowledge and skills as peace makers

Ambassador Daisuke Matsunaga of Japan paid a two-day field visit to Gambella where Japan has been partnering with UNDP to support over 24,000 households in refugee hosting communities. 

Ethiopia hosts almost one million refugees, with those in Gambella region accounting for over 40% of this number; the number of refugees, mostly from South Sudan, is also almost equal to that of the host community ; and at times surpasses . This places a huge stress on local natural resources, especially dwindling forests, and can be a cause of conflict between the refugees and the host community.

 

Meeting with the ambassador, Gambella Region cabinet members applauded the support of UNDP in enhancing the livelihoods of host communities and requested Japan to provide more support for UNDP to help scale up the current interventions.

Gambela Regional President Mr. Omod Ojulu with Ambassador of Japan Mr. Daisuke Matsunaga

Ethiopia hosts almost one million refugees, with those in Gambella region accounting for over 40% of this number; the number of refugees, mostly from South Sudan, is also almost equal to that of the host community ; and at times surpasses . This places a huge stress on local natural resources, especially dwindling forests, and can be a cause of conflict between the refugees and the host community.

 

Meeting with the ambassador, Gambella Region cabinet members applauded the support of UNDP in enhancing the livelihoods of host communities and requested Japan to provide more support for UNDP to help scale up the interventions.

 

Government of Japan has so far provided a total of USD 2.9 million ($1.4 million in 2016 and $1.5 million in 2018) to target over 24,000 households in the host communities to diversify their livelihoods and to help them strengthen management of natural resources. Unemployed have benefited from fishery cooperatives and TVET trainings; communities benefit from vegetable farming introduced along the Baro River. Grinding mills constructed for host communities has meant that women no longer have to walk miles. . Communities were also supported to promote peaceful co-existence of host and refugee communities through strengthening traditional conflict resolution structures. School children have also benefited from the rehabilitation of  existing schools as well as active engagement through school peace clubs.

UNDP and UNHCR coordinate their interventions in Gambella Region as part of a committment to a New Way of Working launched by the UN Secretary General to ensure that humanitarian interventions are complemented by strategic development investments to build local capacity and resilience. 

In January 2019 Ethiopia’s parliament passed a new law that allows refugees to work and live outside refugee camps ; refugees will also now be able to access vital registration and access financial resources. This move is part of Ethiopia’s commitment to the commitment toward the United Nations Global Compact on Refugees.

 

For more information on the UNDP-Japan intervention in Gambella Region contact Mr. Temesgen Barisso,Programme Analyst, Disaster Risk Management, Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development Unit:

Temesgen.Berisso@undp.org / Communication.et@undp.org 

 

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