Soon: A new refugee camp in Ethiopia

A man builds a transitional housing unit at a refugee camp for Somalis in Dollo Ado, Ethiopia. A new camp will be set up and opened in the country. Photo by: J. Ose / UNHCR

The office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees needs $5 million to set up and open a new camp for Somali refugees in Ethiopia.

Of the required sum, $1.5 million is urgently needed to prepare the camp site and build basic infrastructure like water points, latrines and emergency clinics, UNHCR spokesman Andrej Mahecic said in Geneva.

“We are seeking support from donors and partners, including resources for [nongovernmental organization] partners who would be working in the camp,” Mahecic said.

The new camp is needed to accommodate the steady stream of Somalis arriving in Ethiopia to escape hunger and conflict in their country, Mahecid said. UNHCR, he added, has noted a decrease in the number of daily arrivals from Somalia but people do continue to flee, mostly to avoid recruitment by rebel groups.

Ethiopia currently hosts 214,000 Somali refugees and most of the existing camps in the country are nearing or beyond their capacities. Dollo Ado, which consists of five camps, is now the world’s second largest refugee complex after Dadaab in Kenya, Mahecic noted.

The Ethiopian government has already authorized the opening of a sixth camp. The designated site is located near the town of Kole, some 54 kilometers from Dollo Ado.

UNHCR may need to knock harder on its donors’ and partners’ doors to get the needed funding. As it stands, its financial appeal of $112 million for its activities for Somali refugees is less than 40 percent funded at $44 million.

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributes to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.