The World Refugee Day 2022 was celebrated with a series of activities in refugee camps and sites and at various events in Ethiopia.
This year’s World Refugee Day was about the “RIGHT TO SEEK SAFETY”, which emphasizes that everyone, whoever they are, wherever they come from, and whenever they are forced to flee, has the right to seek protection.
Within this global theme, the Ethiopian Government Refugees and Returnees Service (RRS), the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), local authorities and partners in Ethiopia celebrated solidarity, striving for sustainability, and seeking durable and dignified solutions for the forcibly displaced.
The central WRD event was held at the Abrehot Library in the capital Addis Ababa on 21 June, with high-level participation of RRS, UNHCR, UN agencies and partners, donors, and refugees themselves.
Ethiopia is the third-largest refugee-hosting country in Africa, sheltering 850,000 registered refugees and asylum-seekers.
At the event held at the Abrehot Library, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Ethiopia, Dr. Catherine Sozi, expressed gratitude to the Government of Ethiopia and host communities for the generosity and humanity shown to the over 850,000 refugees, despite facing the impact of multiple shocks themselves.
Director General of the RRS Tesfahun Gobezay said in his WRD remark, “This year, we celebrate the Day with the theme “everyone has the right to seek safety,” perhaps a value Ethiopians live for and a legacy they maintain for generations to come. For us, it is not who they are, where they come from or what they believe in what matters most, but the dignity and protection refugees and asylum seekers deserve. That is why Ethiopia received them with open doors and hands stretched to embrace them.”
In his WRD address, UNHCR Representative in Ethiopia Dr. Mamadou Dian Balde said: “Over decades, Ethiopia has demonstrated solidarity with the people who were forced to leave their homes – by generously receiving them and offering refuge. On this World Refugee Day, UNHCR wishes to thank the Ethiopian Government for its continuing solidarity with the forcibly displaced and for keeping the country’s doors open for the people in need of shelter and protection, in spite of its domestic challenges,” the UNHCR Representative added.
The event at the Abrehot Library included presentation of the key components of the Country Refugee Response Plan (CRRP), a planning and coordination tool for the 2022 refugee response in Ethiopia. Bringing together 37 humanitarian and development partners, developed in close cooperation with the RRS, the CRRP, in the total amount of USD 605 million, outlines the needs and planned response for all refugee populations in the country.
Every year on 20 June, the World Refugee Day (WRD) is commemorated around the globe, celebrating the strength and courage of people who have been forced to flee their homes to escape conflict or persecution. It is also an occasion to build empathy and understanding for their situation and to recognize their resilience in rebuilding their lives, while also acknowledging their contribution to their hosting communities.