JRS: Meeting emergency needs of refugees in Ethiopia

The Jesuit Refugee Service Emergency Needs Program in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, serves the needs of asylum-seekers and refugees from Somalia and elsewhere in Africa who seek to escape famine, war and persecution in their homelands. The program was established in 1997, initially as a parish outreach program, and became the ENP in 2004.

“The Emergency Needs Program is mainly for asylum seekers, for those who are newcomers to Ethiopia,” said JRS Ethiopia Country Director Seyoum Asfaw.

“The newcomers sometimes come directly to JRS, and sometimes they are referred to us by the local parish. Sometimes the Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs, the government body concerning refugees, refers them to JRS, and UNHCR also refers these refugees to JRS.”

Read the full story on the Jesuit Refugee Service/USA website. bit.ly/o4wD4C

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Jesuit Refugee Service pastoral program in Addis Ababa

Each Friday the Jesuit Refugee Service Emergency Needs Program office in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, hosts a pastoral program, which provides group discussion and counseling for refugees. “Almost every Friday, I come here. This program is so helpful,” said Laurent.

“I’m by myself. So I come to pray here, at the pastoral programs. The things in the Bible tell us why to keep our hearts [to keep hope],” added Vincent, another refugee from the DRC.

Because refugees in Addis seldom have access to, or can afford, local schools, JRS provides training programs in such skills as English and computer literacy.
Learn more here: bit.ly/qfw9hg

Somalia refugees in Ethiopia

A young refugee from Somalia at Malkadida refugee camp near Dollo Ado, Ethiopia.

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Jesuit Refugee Service accompanies residents of the camp by providing counseling services, adult literacy classes and a hugely successful youth program with sports and music components. (Christian Fuchs – Jesuit Refugee Service/USA)

UN: Don’t force refugees back to Somalia

The United Nations again appealed to governments worldwide not to forcibly return refugees to Somalia, where tens of thousands of people have been killed and some two million displaced by years of fighting, as the situation deteriorates even further in the Horn of Africa country.

“We are appealing to all States to uphold their international obligations with regard to non-refoulement,” UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) spokesperson Melissa Fleming told a news briefing in Geneva, citing the principle in international law on protecting people from being returned to places where their lives or freedoms could be in danger. Read the rest of this entry »

Somalia: 160,000 internally displaced persons since May

Ongoing clashes between Government forces and insurgents have uprooted another 26,000 people from the Somali capital, Mogadishu, in the past five days, the United Nations refugee agency reported today.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said that there are now 160,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) resulting from the fighting that has been taking place since early May between Government troops and the opposition Al-Shabaab and Hisb-ul-Islam groups.

The agency added that the worsening security situation is making it more difficult for aid agencies to reach and help those in need of urgent assistance.
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