The purpose of the visit was to learn more about the situation for the Eritrean refugees, who cross the Eritrean-Ethiopian border in large numbers, averaging 2500 – 3000 new arrivals a month. Importantly, large proportions of these people do not continue to stay in Ethiopia, but continue to move towards Europe, often traveling through Sudan and Libya and/or Egypt. Often referred to as “secondary movement”, this migration route is associated with severe risks related to human trafficking and smuggling, and many refugees do not make it to their intended destination. Addressing the root causes of the migration, and creating a better future for the refugees in Ethiopia, is therefore of key importance.
Another challenge central to the refugee camps in Shire, is the relatively numerous arrivals of unaccompanied and separated children. This, of course, entails important responsibilities related to child protection, as well as education and other basic services tailored to the needs of children. With this in mind, the trip to Shire also included visits to secondary schools and vocational training sites, supported and operated by Norway’s humanitarian partners, the Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), respectively.
A big thanks to ARRA, the UNHCR, NRC and NCA for an educational visit, that will fuel into Norway’s continued efforts to address humanitarian needs as well as the causes of migration on the Horn of Africa.”