RRS Director-General Stresses Need for Strong Collaboration to Find Durable Solutions for Refugees and Hosts

Addis Ababa, Strong collaboration is needed among the government, partners and the international community in the pursuit to find durable solutions for refugees and their hosts, Refugees and Returnees Service (RRS) Director-General Teyiba Hassen said.

Addressing a meeting on lessons learned from a decade of strategic partnership with the philanthropic organization IKEA foundation today, the director-general stated that refuge operation has been in the recent past transitioning from humanitarian assistance to development intervention.

The intent is to promote jobs and livelihood, refugees and their host to become self-reliant, she added.

In such initiatives, IKEA foundation has been working with Ethiopia’s Refugees and Returnees Service, Somali Regional State and UNHCR as well as partners in order to bring better socio-economic benefits to refugees and their hosts, Teyiba said.

According to her, IKEA foundation has invested over 120 million USD in the Melkadida refugee operation in Somali Regional State.

The foundation initially started by funding emergency relief, but gradually started supporting economic development and livelihood opportunities for refugees and host communities.

Agriculture and livestock value chains, renewable energy, fuel saving cooking stoves and charcoal production at the cooperative level are among the projects being financed by IKEA foundation in Melkadida, it was learned.

Teyiba finally called for strong collaboration among the government, stakeholders, partners, and the international community in the pursuit to find durable solutions by stimulating their business orientation and income generation mindset.

IKEA Foundation CEO, Per Heggenes said on his part that development is required in humanitarian setting which is one of the major learning.

However, he added that any kind of system change like this requires long-term investment.

“This is not a two-year contract project, it really is a community development; and a community development approach will have to be with refugees and host communities together.”

For the CEO, refugees are assets, if we deal with them in the right way. We can integrate in the right way, provide positivity to the host community and provide value for everyone.

Recall that Ethiopia hosts nearly one million refugees and asylum seekers who fled from neighboring countries and beyond.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency