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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 
UNICEF says number of internally displaced
people reaches 2.8 million in Ethiopia 

ADDIS ABABA, (Xinhua) -- The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said on Tuesday the number of internally displaced people (IDPs) has reached 2.8 million in Ethiopia, up from 1.6 million at the beginning of the year.

In a press statement, UNICEF said Ethiopia also hosts more than 920,000 refugees, mainly from neighboring Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan and Eritrea. 

UNICEF said it expects seasonal flooding to affect 2.5 million people, possibly further increasing the number of IDPs in Ethiopia.

Helping the IDPs and refugees needs an estimated 111.8 million U.S. dollars, 31 percent of which has so far been donated to UNICEF.

Increasing communal violence and natural disasters across various parts of Ethiopia in the first half of 2018 is thought to be behind the spike in the number of IDPs in the country.

Oromia, Somali and Southern regional states house most of the IDPs in the country. 

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Inter-communal conflict displaces more than 958,000 in Ethiopia: UN

ADDIS ABABA, (Xinhua) -- The International Organization for Migration (IOM), the UN migration agency, said on Tuesday that 958,175 people are internally displaced following an inter-communal crisis in Ethiopia’s Gedeo and West Guji zones.

According to the UN migration agency’s latest report, 359,113 people are sheltering in collective sites while the remainder are living with local communities, in rented accommodation or with relatives, though they also visit the collective sites to get humanitarian assistance.

The latest of the historically recurring clashes between communities in the Gedeo and West Guji zones, along the borders of the Southern region and the Oromia region, begun in March 2018.

As the fighting intensified in June, hundreds of thousands of people fled their homes with little more than the clothes they were wearing, according to the IOM.

In Gedeo zone, where the majority of the displaced people are living, there are at least 276,939 people in 134 collective sites, which range from schools to government buildings and disused or unfinished buildings.

“In seven of the sites, more than half of the residents are living outside or in open spaces. As Ethiopia is experiencing its cold and rainy season, providing adequate shelter to these displaced communities is a priority for IOM,” the report said.

Many of the sites in Gedeo are in remote areas, “making humanitarian aid delivery extremely difficult,” and four the sites are completely inaccessible, making the assistance endeavors “near impossible,” according to the report.

Displaced people began arriving in both zones in March and were still arriving in July.

The UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) last month released 15 million U.S. dollars to urgently scale up humanitarian assistance to people affected by escalating inter-communal violence in Ethiopia.

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