UN envoy commends Ethiopia for generous hospitality accorded to South Sudan refugees

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Addis Ababa, 18 July 2014 (WIC) - UN Envoy Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, spouse of the governor of Dubai, commended on Wednesday (July 16) the role played by Ethiopia’s Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA) in close collaboration with the UNHCR and other aid agencies in hosting South Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia.

During her one-day visit to refugee camps in western Ethiopia, she pledged to advocate for “greater burden sharing and solidarity “to alleviate the plight of the refugees. Princess Haya also visited aid sites and met local officials and refugees in Gambella.

UNHCR Gambella staff briefed her on the overall humanitarian situation. Mr. Bornwell Kantande, UNHCR's Acting Representative in Ethiopia, on his part appreciated the People and Government of Ethiopia for their “generous hospitality and open-door policy.”

He further added “We don't take this hospitality and magnanimity for granted,” emphasizing that the UNHCR stood ready to “support the hosting communities who give a lot to the refugees even though they are not better of themselves.”

ARRA, UNHCR and other aid partners are jointly coordinating efforts to avert an outbreak of communicable diseases in the refugee camps. UNHCR and ARRA are working together with regional authorities to secure plot of land in a bid to quickly develop a fourth camp, according to UNHCR press statement.

Ethiopia is currently hosting 580,000 refugees. According to UNHCR, Ethiopia becomes one of the world’s top 10 refugee hosting countries. (mfa.gov.et)