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Ethiopia’s “Open Door Policy” Commended by the International Community
By admin February 1, 2017

Photo by Lena Bell

The African Union is a continental union of 55 countries established in South Africa in 2001. Its headquarters are in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where the Assembly of the African Union composed of heads of state and governments meet semi-annually. The 28th session took place this month and the summit was held under the theme “Harnessing the Demographic Dividends through Investing in Youths.”

During this session, an event on the humanitarian situation in Ethiopia was organized. The event was co-chaired by Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr Antonio Guterres, and the Deputy Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Mr Demeke Mekonnen. Neven Mimica, the European Union’s Commissioner in charge of International Cooperation and Development took part in the event as a key speaker. He commended the “open door policy” of the country despite the challenges that Ethiopians face today due to climate change. Commissioner Mimica argued that ‘these are immense challenges that no community and no country can, or should, face alone. The governments of the Horn of Africa, and of the international community, must work better together”. The Commissioner defended the idea that unless the international community redoubled its efforts to address these issues, the people of Ethiopia would continue to live under these “unacceptable burdens”.

In recent years, Ethiopia has suffered sever climate conditions due to climate change. In the last two years, the country was hit by the worst drought of the past five decades. These droughts are due to El Niño, a climate phenomenon that translates in unusually warm ocean temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific. More specifically, it is an “oscillation of the ocean-atmosphere system in the tropical Pacific” that affects weather around the world. Due to its effects on climate in Ethiopia an estimated 10.2 million people are in need of urgent aid. Also, Ethiopia welcomes over 640,000 refugees who flee insecurity and malnutrition from South-Soudan. The country is one of the most welcoming countries in the continent.

Together with the Government of Ethiopia, the international community organized a response to meet the needs of drought-affected communities. Through the European Development Fund, the European Union (EU) promotes economic growth and accompanies reforms in Ethiopia. In a cycle of funding from 2014-2020, the EU will have provided €745 million in assistance to Ethiopia. This equals to an estimated average of €160 million per year. To address the specific issue of migrants, Ethiopia also benefits from actions under the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa. In 2016, the EU mobilized over €168.3 million for Ethiopia in response to El Niño and other humanitarian priorities. The EU has notably funded programs implemented by the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and the Danish Refugee Council (DRC), to help Ethiopia overcome these challenges.

This summit was also United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres’s first address to the African Union and he too took the opportunity to express his gratitude to African countries for being “among the world’s largest and most generous hosts of refugees [with its] borders remaining open for those in need of protection, when so many borders are being closed.”

 

To Read More:

Europa.eu

Publicnow.com

What is EL Niño?

Europa.eu on Humanitarian aid in Ethiopia

European Aid to Ethiopia –Data

UN news Center


Thanks for sharing !


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