Second Phase Refugee Transformative Program Launched

Addis Ababa: The second phase of the PROSPECTS partnership program, a ground-breaking initiative designed to strengthen the resilience, self-reliance, and inclusion of forcibly displaced persons (FDPs) as well as host communities in Ethiopia, has been launched today.

The Government of the Netherlands, along with Ethiopia’s Refugees and Returnees Service (RRS), line ministries, humanitarian and development agencies announced the launching.

Speaking about the accomplishments of the first phase of the program, Netherlands Ambassador to Ethiopia Henk Jan Bakker underscored the program’s transformative potential.

According to him, more than 20,000 out of school children and young people gained access to learning opportunities through Accelerated Learning and Skills Development Programs.

Also, 20,000 jobs were created, child protection services enhanced for 60,000 minors, and birth certificates issued to 26,000 children.

In this phase backed by 800 million Euro in Dutch funding across eight countries, PROSPECT
S aims to equip youth with job-ready skills, catalyze economic opportunities, fortify child protection systems, and improve access to vital services and infrastructure.

Lauding Ethiopia’s refugee-friendly policies and integration efforts, Ambassador Bakker emphasized PROSPECTS core mission of investing in the potential of all individuals, irrespective of their status as refugees, IDPs, or host community members.

”I would like to take this moment to thank the Ethiopian government for its welcoming policy to refugees; and specifically for its pledges to transform selected refugee camps into sustainable urban settlements, and to include refugees into existing national systems,” he noted.

For the ambassador, collaboration remains pivotal to ensuring a meaningful impact, necessitating continued cooperation between donors, implementing partners, and the Ethiopian government.

Refugees and Returnees Service (RRS) Director-General, Teyiba Hassen, on her part reaffirmed Ethiopia’s commitment to the Global Compact
on Refugees.

She further added the need for clearly defined roles, robust communication, and stronger RRS-partner cooperation to address gaps identified in the first phase of the project.

As the expanded PROSPECTS partnership takes flight, Ethiopia takes a significant stride towards empowering refugees, IDPs, and host communities, fostering self-reliance, and paving the way for a more prosperous future for all.

The director-general further underscored the urgency of bolstering support for host nations and refugees amid a burgeoning forced displacement crisis.

Ethiopia is the third largest refugee-hosting country with refugees mainly from South Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea, and Sudan.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency