Assistance and Protection for Eritrean Refugees in Ethiopia 2008
In northern Ethiopia, political and security tensions have been mounting over the border
dispute with Eritrea despite the efforts of an independent Ethiopia-Eritrea Border
Demarcation Commission. In the course of 2007, the average monthly arrival of Eritrean asylum seekers into Ethiopia gradually increased from 250-300 in mid-2007, to 600-700 towards the end of the year and the first quarter of 2008.
UNHCR Ethiopia responded among other things by identifying a new camp site further inland
(to be opened by May 2008) in order to accommodate the increasing influx and eventual
relocation of refugee populations from the existing Shimelba camp, which is located near the border area in Ethiopia's Tigray National Regional State.
The project aims to provide international protection and multi-sectoral care and assistance to 17,300 Eritrean refugees in Shimelba refugee camp as well as in the new camp site which is to be opened by May 2008. The key objectives come under the sectors of Health/Nutrition, Sanitation and Community services and are:
-Establishment, maintenance and staffing of primary health care facilities
-Construction and maintenance of sanitation infrastructure and promotion of hygiene practices
-Community-based activities aimed at strengthening the self-help capacities of vulnerable groups within the refugee community.