The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the United Nation Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have inked an agreement that outlines key areas of collaboration in child protection, education, health and nutrition, as well as water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).
According to a statement from UNHCR, Ethiopia at present hosts 783,340 refugees, 58.3 percent of whom are children under 18, including 38,502 unaccompanied children. Currently, Ethiopia has also witnessed a new influx of South Sudanese refugees fleeing renewed violence and food shortage. Of the 39,000 new arrivals 64 percent of them are children, said the statement.
Upon signing the agreement Clementine Nkweta-Salami and Gillian Mellsop, representatives of UNHCR and UNICEF respectively, said “UNICEF and UNHCR have a long history of effective and demonstrated collaboration in humanitarian action which has greatly improved the lives of refugees over the years,” adding that “this agreement will further cement our partnership and help us to advance our respective mandates in Ethiopia.”
The agreement is expected to expire on August 2020 and is assumed to enable both parties to collaborate together in picking up the pace of their joint refugee response in terms of technical assistance, visibility, advocacy resource mobilization and supply management. The agreement is also deemed to have a strong focus on identifying risks and thereby ensuring contingency planning and preparedness measures.