Wednesday April 12, 2023
Somali refugees who fled recent clashes in Lasscanood, Somaliland area, shelter in the open at the Qoriley site in the Somali region of Ethiopia. © UNHCR/Aden Harun
According to the UNHCR, upon arrival, refugee families are biometrically registered and provided with a tent and other essential relief items to set up a new home. /CFP Photo
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said Tuesday that it has begun relocation of newly arrived Somali refugees in Ethiopia who fled recurring clashes between security forces and clan leaders in Las Anod in northern Somalia, with 1,036 of the most vulnerable people transferred from border areas to a new settlement over the past three days.
The UN refugee agency said thousands of people have arrived in the Somali region of Ethiopia seeking safety since clashes started in mid-February.
As of last week, 91,000 people had been registered by Ethiopia's Refugees and Returnees Service with the UNHCR's support, and refugees still continue to arrive, fleeing ongoing violence in their home country, the UNHCR said.
"Most are women, children, and older people. Among them are more than 3,400 unaccompanied and separated children and adolescents," it said.
According to the UNHCR, upon arrival, refugee families are biometrically registered and provided with a tent and other essential relief items to set up a new home. Ethiopia has generously allocated 400 hectares where refugees can settle and access existing services, such as health care, water, and education.
It added that while many refugees are being hosted by Ethiopian families in their homes, others who crossed into Ethiopia remain in overcrowded shelters or are sleeping outdoors and require urgent assistance.
The UNHCR and humanitarian partners in March launched an inter-agency emergency refugee response plan of 116 million U.S. dollars to address the immediate critical needs faced by refugees and host communities in this area.
Ethiopia has welcomed refugees for decades and currently hosts nearly 990,000 refugees from neighboring countries like South Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea, and Sudan, the UNHCR said.