News / Africa

    Fleeing Conflict, Somali Refugees Strain Ethiopia

    Somali refugees line up to register at one of the refugee camps in the southeastern Dollo Ado region of Ethiopia on July 7, 2011. Up to 2,000 Somali refugees arrive daily at the registration office.
    Somali refugees line up to register at one of the refugee camps in the southeastern Dollo Ado region of Ethiopia on July 7, 2011. Up to 2,000 Somali refugees arrive daily at the registration office.
    Lisa Schlein
    The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) reports the Dollo Ado complex in southeastern Ethiopia cannot keep pace with the continued influx of new refugees from Somalia.

    Last week, its population surpassed the 170,000 mark.  This, says U.N. refugee spokesman Andrej Mahecic, makes Dollo Ado the world's second largest refugee complex after the Dadaab site in Kenya.

    "Although the rate of arrivals at Dollo Ado has slowed this year, people are continuing to flee conflict and insecurity in southern and central parts of Somalia," Mahecic said. "Many cite fear of harassment and forced recruitment by armed groups who still control large rural areas of Somalia... Their most urgent needs are emergency shelter, food and essential aid items," he said. 

    Ethiopia increasingly appears to be the destination of choice for Somali refugees, according to the UNHCR.  It notes more than 25,000 of the estimated 62,000 Somalis who fled to countries in the region between January and the end of September headed for Ethiopia.

    More than a million Somali refugees are already scattered across the Horn of Africa.  To fully understand the magnitude of the Somali refugee crisis, one must realize that in the past decade, only the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq forced more than a million people to flee their homes.

    More than half a million Somali refugees are in Kenya, while Ethiopia now hosts 214,000.  The refugees are living in five overcrowded camps in Dollo Ado. A sixth site is being set up between the town of Kole and Kobe camp, some 54 kilometers north of Dollo Ado town, said Mahecic.

    "The cost of the opening of the new site, setting up basic services and infrastructure including medical, education and warehousing facilities, is more than $5 million," he said. "We are seeking support from donors and partners, including resources for NGO [non-governmental organization] partners who would be working in the camp.  For the initial phase, we urgently need $1.5 million simply for the site preparation, land demarcation and setting up basic infrastructure including bore holes, setting up water points, emergency clinic, latrines, etceteras."  

    A long-awaited 1,600-meter all-weather airstrip recently opened in Dollo Ado, Mahecic added, calling the development "great news" as it significantly upgrades access for humanitarian staff and transportation of cargo.  Until now, aid agencies were forced to travel on poor roads, which severely delayed emergency interventions and urgent medical evacuations.

    With the opening of the new airstrip, Mahecic said humanitarian agencies will now be able to deliver relief items to the refugees even in adverse weather conditions.

    You May Like

    Post-White House, Obamas to Rent Washington Mansion

    Nine-bedroom home is 3 kilometers from Oval Office, near capital's Embassy Row; rent estimated at around $22,000 a month

    Red Planet? Not so much!

    New research suggest that Mars is in a warm period between cyclical ice ages, and that during Ice Age Maximum over 500,000 years ago, the red planet was decidedly ice, and much whiter to the naked eye.

    Taj Mahal Battles New Threat from Insects

    Swarms of insects are proliferating in the heavily contaminated waters of the Yamuna River, which flows behind the 17th century monument

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora