DRC has been operating in Ethiopia since 2009, supporting various refugee populations and host communities and has also working on mixed migration issues in the country. DRC has a country programme office in Addis Ababa and a liaison office in the capital of the Somali region Jijiga, but direct project activities are carried out from three areas of operation in the Gambella, Dolo Ado, Filtu regions.
DRC has been present in the region since 2011. Our activities initially targeted the host community and the relative small number of displaced persons and South Sudanese refugees. After the crisis erupted in South Sudan end of 2013, DRC has increased the assistance substantially to cater to the need of more than 200,000 refugees from South Sudan.
DRC is the leading provider of clean water to the refugee camps, and we presently deliver water to over 90,000 refugees in Gambella. DRC also provides other types of WASH support initiatives, such as construction of latrines, and hygiene promotion to refugees at various refugee sites in the region.
In addition to its WASH response, DRC has also undertaken shelter construction in the Gambella refugee camps to provide suitable housing for the displaced through a “cash for work” approach implemented by trained artisans.
Another major focus point is on protection activities for preventing and addressing sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), enhancing child protection, and supporting youth in the refugee camps. In the Okugo Camp in the southern part of the Gambella region, we are establishing and training child protection committees, building Child-Friendly Spaces (CFS), and providing child protection case management services.
Dolo Ado is located in south-eastern Ethiopia in a tri-border region near where Ethiopia, Kenya, and South Central Somalia meet. The chronic and complex humanitarian crisis in this region transcends national boundaries, with populations being extremely vulnerable to natural hazards, such as periodic droughts and floods.
Currently, DRC is an implementing partner for UNHCR in Dolo Ado of livelihoods activities. With UNHCR and Danish funding, we support self-reliance of refugees and host communities through agricultural projects, with vocational training, irrigation and livestock development. DRC also supports vulnerable women groups in both refugee and host communities.
Filtu is also located in south-eastern Ethiopia in the Somali region, not far from Dolo Ado, and is presently suffering from an acute water shortage. At the request of the local government and the Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) coordination cluster, DRC, with the support of OCHA, is assisting the fragile communities who are affected by displacement to ensure sufficient supply of potable clean water. The activities currently taking place include rehabilitation of boreholes and water birkas (which harvest water in dry climates through condensation that is collected in a structure like a cistern), as well as community education programming to ensure the sustainability of the project.