U.S. Support for Refugees in Ethiopia

21 August, 2016

U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia Patricia Haslach participated in a signing ceremony in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, August 11, 2016, to award a Julia Taft Fund grant for refugees to International Rescue Committee-Ethiopia.

The U.S. government is proud to partner with government, international organizations, and NGOs like IRC to support Ethiopia as it hosts the largest population of refugees in Africa. The importance of Ethiopia as a key player in responding to refugee needs is highlighted by the fact that Ethiopia will serve as one of 7 co-hosts for President Obama's Leaders' Summit on Refugees that will be held on September 20 in conjunction with the 71st session of the UN General Assembly.

The Summit co-hosts all recognize that the international community must do more to protect and assist refugees.

Massive numbers of refugees are embarking upon dangerous paths in search of safety; and millions more face long-term waits in first asylum countries, with limited, and in some cases, no access to lawful employment and education, while they wait for crises to end in their respective countries. In the lead up to the UNGA, Ethiopia, the United States, and other co-hosts, as well as other UN Member States that join this effort, will make concrete commitments to address these challenges.

In 2015, the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) provided nearly $82 million in refugee assistance in Ethiopia, and to date this year has provided over $66 million.

Through its assistance in Ethiopia, United States funding for IRC has allowed it to implement projects that have renovated facilities for the reception of children and adolescent refugees arriving in Ethiopia, developed livelihoods for refugees, and constructed a multipurpose women's center for counseling, training, and community activities.

The Department of State is delighted that IRC is the recipient of this year's Julia Taft Fund award in Ethiopia. This award of nearly $25,000 will boost the availability of safe drinking water and improved sanitation facilities for the 21,000-plus refugees, mostly from Sudan and South Sudan, who live in the Tsore and Sherkole refugee camps.

The U.S. government looks forward to continuing to fostering our partnership and commitment with IRC, as well as with our other NGO and international organization partners, to assist the refugee population in Ethiopia.