Netherlands Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

The European Union and the Netherlands launch innovative Regional Development and Protection Programme (RDPP) in Ethiopia for refugees and their host communities

(Addis Ababa, 22 February 2017) Ethiopia generously hosts the second-largest refugee population in Africa: almost 800,000 refugees from neighbouring countries. As a country of origin, transit and destination, Ethiopia has a big responsibility to host refugees and to ensure a better future for potential migrants. The international community joins Ethiopia in a partnership to share the burden.

Today, the European Union (EU) and the Netherlands, in cooperation with the government of Ethiopia and UN partners and implementing consortia, have launched the 30 million Euro (more than 720 million Birr) Regional Development and Protection Programme (RDPP): an innovative programme to address protection and development challenges of both refugees and host communities.

The programme is officially launched by H.E. Ambassador Chantal Hebberecht, Head of the European Union Delegation to Ethiopia, and Reina Buijs, Deputy Head of Development Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. The deputy director of the refugee authority (ARRA) linked the RDPP to the government priority to expand assistance to refugees and host communities.

Background

Innovative approach in line with government priorities

At the Leaders’ Summit on Refugees in New York 2016, Ethiopia pledged to expand its ‘Out of Camp Policy’. It plans for improved local integration by giving refugees access to national services and employment opportunities. The RDPP embodies this new approach of the government. It aims to provide more sustainable integrated services with a focus on livelihood opportunities, education, water and energy. The RDPP in Ethiopia focuses on Eritrean and Somali refugees and their host communities in Tigray, Afar, and Somali Regional States, as well as major urban centres.

Coordination

The RDPP, a 30-million-euro programme, funded through the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, is part of the wider RDPP in the Horn of Africa, which is led by the Netherlands in cooperation with the EU Delegation to Ethiopia. The RDPP in Ethiopia is the second one to be launched, after Kenya, and will be followed by Somalia and Sudan. The RDPP will work closely with the refugee authorities (ARRA), local, regional and federal government, and other humanitarian and development stakeholders to ensure coordination and complementarity. The Ministry of Agriculture/World Bank (USD 100 mln), DfID (GBP 125 mln) and others are in the process of rolling out similar projects in the country. These organizations also presented their programmes at the launch.