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Ethiopia to cohost Global Refugee Forum
Syrian refugees in Addis Ababa

Ethiopia to co-host Global Refugee Forum

Ethiopia is set to co-host the Global Refugee Forum in Geneva, Switzerland next week. Set to take place between December 17 to 18, 2019; Ethiopia, one of the world’s most generous host nations to refugees, will be joined by Costa Rica, Germany, Pakistan and Turkey as cohosts along with the Government of Switzerland and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR.

“Ethiopia considers the Global Refugee Forum as a unique opportunity in transforming the burden on host countries and communities and in ensuring solidarity with over 25 million refugees across the world. The forum is also vital to further accelerate the realization of existing and new commitments in relation to achieving the four objectives of the GCR,” Addisu Kebenessa, Deputy Director General of Ethiopia’s Agency for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA), said in a statement sent to The Reporter.

Ethiopia is a signatory of a global deal signed at the Leader’s Summit on Refugees that endorsed work permits for refugees, give more education opportunities, and provide documents and essential services to refugees. The nation has hosted refugees from neighboring nations, notably from South Sudan, Eritrea, and Somalia and most recently, from Yemen and Syria.

“Ethiopia has already made a significant progress in achieving some of the objectives of the GCR, including increased enrollment of refugee students, access to livelihoods opportunities in the agricultural sector and access to civil documentation and basic and essential services,” said Ann Encontre, the UNHCR Representative in Ethiopia. “With sustained support from international financiers, development partners and the private sector, the country is on course to ensure that refugees have the opportunity to be self-reliant and can contribute to local economies in a way that also benefits their hosts.”

Generous donors, including the Swedish based IKEA foundation, one of Sweden’s most successful international makers of easy to assemble furniture, recently allocated USD 100 million to help refugees find refuge in the nation. 

In the last year, Ethiopia has been celebrated for liberalizing the rules that governs refugees in the nation, allowing them to gain work permit and among others, be given a chance to work in the various industrial parks across the nation.