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The World Bank has approved $180 million for a project to help Ethiopia improve access to basic social and economic services for refugees and their host communities.

The project, Development Response to Displacement Impacts Project in the Horn of Africa (DRDIP), also seeks to help the country expand livelihood opportunities, and enhance environmental management for refugees.

According to the bank, approximately 2.5 million people in Ethiopia, of whom one-third are refugees and at least 50 percent are women, will benefit from the new financing to DRDIP.

It is understood that the ongoing project has already assisted over five million people in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda since 2016.

‘DRDIP II activities will complement humanitarian support for refugees and host communities’, World Bank Director of Regional Integration for Africa, the Middle East and North Africa, Boutheina Guermazi, said in a statement.

‘This will help the ongoing transformation of the government’s refugee response approach from a short-term humanitarian model into a more sustainable and long-term development approach’.

Ethiopia has long been a generous host to refugees and its policy response to forced displacement has been progressive.

It is the third largest refugee hosting country in Africa and the ninth largest worldwide. Most refugees in Ethiopia originate from South Sudan, Somalia, and Eritrea, and face protracted displacement due to regional instability. They reside in camps, which are generally located on the periphery of the country.

It was gathered that the government of Ethiopia has agreed to third-party implementation and monitoring in areas at high risk of ongoing conflict to ensure that needs in all refugee-hosting areas in the country are met.

Photo source: UNHCR/Will Swanson

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