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World Bank approves $180m for refugees, host communities in Ethiopia

The World Bank has approved the second phase of the Development Response to Displacement Impacts Project in the Horn of Africa (DRDIP II) for $180 million in International Development Association (IDA) financing to help Ethiopia improve access to basic social and economic services, expand livelihood opportunities, and enhance environmental management for refugees and their host communities.

The fund, it said in a statement, will benefit approximately 2.5 million people in Ethiopia, of whom one-third are refugees and at least 50% are women.

This ongoing project, according to the World Bank, has already assisted over 5 million people in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda since 2016.

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

She added, “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.”

DRDIP II will reportedly expand the geographic scope of the project to cover all communities in Ethiopia affected by refugees’ presence and to deepen support for the implementation of the government’s refugee inclusion policies.

Refugees are included as direct beneficiaries of this new phase, and their concerns will be better integrated into local development planning with a special focus on women’s economic and social empowerment, the World Bank noted.

Currently, Ethiopia is third largest refugee hosting country in Africa and the ninth largest worldwide. Majority of the refugees from South Sudan, Somalia and Eritrea reportedly face protracted displacement due to regional instability.

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