ADDIS ABABA, June 20 (Xinhua) — The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, on Tuesday praised efforts made by the Ethiopian government in handling the regional refugee crisis.
Grandi made the remarks during the World Refugee Day commemorative ceremony held in Ethiopia’s Gameblla regional state, which is housing most of the South Sudanese refugees.
“”Ethiopia is a very good model of how a country with a limited resources and a great challenge of its own keeps its doors open, its arms open to people from neighboring countries that are in trouble and seek protection here,” Grandi asserted.
Ethiopia currently hosts more than 850,000 refugees from 21 countries with South Sudanese, Somalis, Eritreans, and Sudanese making up the majority.
The east African country has registered an additional 54,107 refugees in just the first five months of 2017, with most of the arrivals being Eritreans, South Sudanese and Sudanese, according to recent figure by the Ethiopian Administration for Refugees and Returnees Affairs (ARRA).
“We must help Ethiopia carry out this heavy responsibility and also be inspired by Ethiopia because it is a very shining example of African hospitality and international hospitality,” Grandi stressed.
Grandi, prior to his arrival to Ethiopia, on Sunday visited a camp for internally displaced people in the South Sudan’s city of Bentiu, and pledged the global community to do more in helping the world’s youngest nation, a country with the fastest growing displaced population in the world.
Ethiopian officials also vowed to continue the country’s open door policy for people affected by war and looming famine in South Sudan.
With the world home to more than 65 million refugees, Ethiopia is playing its dutiful part as one of the top five refugee hosting countries globally, said Zeynu Jemal, Deputy Director of ARRA.