Ethiopia Launches National Durable Solutions Initiative for Internally Displaced Persons
Addis Ababa – Ethiopia’s national Durable Solutions Initiative (DSI), which will promote conducive conditions for internally displaced persons (IDPs) to rebuild their lives, was launched in the capital city today (06/12) at an event organized by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
The Initiative – developed by the Government of Ethiopia, the United Nations, international and national non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and donors – seeks to ensure internally displaced communities in the country are supported to either return, integrate or relocate voluntarily.
Opening the meeting, Ethiopia’s Minister of Peace, Muferihat Kamil said: “Those of us who have solutions at stake cannot simply rely on a project-based approach. We need development actors to systematically integrate the concerns of displaced persons and affected communities as active participants in programmes.”
The DSI will support interventions across national development policy, legislative reform, institutional strengthening and mainstreaming of IDP-friendly solutions in spatial and town planning. It also supports area-based, government-led and community driven programmes in areas of voluntary return, relocation or local integration, additionally ensuring that internally displaced households and individuals have access to livelihoods.
The initiative comes at a critical time when ethnic-based tensions and communal violence in some regions of Ethiopia have forced millions of people to flee their homes over the past two years, leading to a complex crisis of population displacement in the country. This has driven the government, in collaboration with humanitarian and development partners, to increase its focus on an approach that cultivates long-lasting solutions to the situation of IDPs in the country.
More than 200 delegates from government and partner agencies discussed how the DSI will be implemented in the country, highlighting the ongoing development challenges and peacebuilding agenda in Ethiopia. Participants also identified opportunities for support, partnership and financing under DSI platforms.
UN Resident Coordinator and UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Ethiopia, Steven Were Omamo, said the Initiative is a vital step in fulfilling and restoring the rights of citizens in distress, and in assisting them to rebuild their lives. He added that much more work needed to be done to ensure those in search of durable solutions will be able to access basic rights.
According to the Switzerland-based Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), a ‘durable solution’ is said to be achieved when internally displaced persons no longer have any specific assistance and protection needs linked to their displacement.
Reflecting relevant governmental plans and strategies as well as international standards, the DSI will provide an operational framework or platform to design and implement solutions in support of IDPs and host communities.
“We need to see both internally displaced communities and those receiving them as people who can use their capacities and skills to drive solutions forward and enhance peaceful co-existence in affected areas,” said IOM Ethiopia’s Chief of Mission Ms. Maureen Achieng at the launch.
The Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) is looking to fund programmes under this initiative and is currently undertaking a feasibility mission in the Somali and Oromia regions of Ethiopia, where IOM has ongoing initiatives in this area and is looking to scale up its programming to reach thousands of more IDPs and returnees that could benefit from the DSI.
Find out more about the Durable Solutions Initiative here.