UNHCR seeks US$19.6 million for Ethiopian refugees
UNHCR issued an appeal for US$19.6 million on Thursday for the repatriation and integration this year of more than 56,600 Ethiopian refugees remaining in Ethiopia's neighbouring countries.
Since the change of government in 1991, some 970,000 Ethiopian refugees have returned to their country. Still, 50,000 of them remain in Sudan, 4,000 in Kenya, 2,100 in Djibouti and 500 elsewhere.
UNHCR, which has been helping the refugees repatriate, plans to complete the return of the Ethiopians in Kenya and Djibouti, overland and by air, by June. Efforts will be made to complete the truck movements from Sudan before the rainy season in June when roads become impassable. Otherwise, this operation will be resumed in November for completion by the end of the year.
The refugees will receive a three-month food ration, kitchen sets, blankets and plastic sheeting and US$28 to cover transportation expenses. Sixty days after arrival in their home villages, the refugees will receive a six-month food ration and an income-generating grant of US$237 per family to facilitate integration.
The largest item in the US$19.6 million appeal this year is for income generation activities, which total US$7.6 million. The amount covers continuation of integration projects started since 1993, including the repair and installation of water, school and medical facilities.
From 1993 to mid-1995, UNHCR organized convoys for the return of 30,000 Ethiopian refugees from Sudan; 32,000 from Djibouti between September 1994 and November 1995; and another 4,000 from Kenya last year.