IRC Provides Essential Support to Ethiopians Displaced by Conflict
The displaced people, from the Borena and Guji zones in the Southern Oromiya region, are unable to return to their homes due to continuing fear. They have been living a precarious existence, relying on sporadic food handouts and occasional daily laboring work to survive.
In late May violence broke out in a remote area of Borena zone causing mass displacement. UN figures suggested that as many as 124,900 people may have been displaced. Flight was quick and most were forced to leave their belongings behind.
While the majority of displaced have chosen to return home or relocate to other parts of the country, IRC’s assessment in mid October found a group of people, unwilling or unable to do so.
“Our team identified internally displaced people from different tribes and regions who, prior to the conflict, were living in settled communities in Arero Woreda and working in the traditional gold mining industry or running small businesses. Now they’re living in camps or rented accommodation in the towns of Mata Gafarsa and Yabelo. Their future remains uncertain,” explained IRC country director David Murphy.
“These people are vulnerable both psychologically and economically,” said Murphy. “When they left they took next to nothing with them. Our response will focus on providing essential items such as blankets, plastic sheets, cooking utensils and mattresses.”
The relief distribution, which gets underway Friday December 1st, will be performed jointly with assistance from the local district government.
IRC’s emergency intervention is supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA).