ADDIS ABABA, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) — South Sudanese nationals represent the largest refugee population in Ethiopia, totaling 329,123 at the end of 2019, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency.
Ethiopia, which hosts one of the largest refugee population in Africa along with Uganda and Sudan, is now home to more than 735,000 refugees, the majority of which from neighboring South Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea and Sudan, Kisut Gebregziabher, spokesperson for office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Ethiopia, told Xinhua.
Amid the influx of South Sudanese nationals in recent years fleeing the conflict that affected the world’s youngest nation since late 2013, Ethiopia’s Gambella regional state received 8,219 new arrivals in 2019, according to the latest UNHCR figures.
Refugees from Somalia represent the second largest refugee population in Ethiopia, totaling 191,575 at the end of 2019.
Somalia refugees constitute 26.1 percent of the registered refugees in Ethiopia, with 8,736 new arrivals in Ethiopia’s Somali regional state during 2019, fleeing drought and generalized instability.
Of the 139,281 Eritrean refugees recorded at the end of last year, 72,737 were new arrivals.
The number of Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia was at 42,285, and 6,456 of them arrived in 2019.
The UNHCR urged the international community to support its humanitarian response activities in Ethiopia.
“The UN refugee agency and its partners are appealing for robust international support for refugee operations in Ethiopia with the launch of a funding appeal for 658 million U.S. dollars to assist over 735,000 refugees and more than half a million Ethiopian hosts in 2020,” Gebregziabher told Xinhua on Friday.
“International support and solidarity is vital to ensure the implementation of the wide range of rights granted to refugees by Ethiopia during the last three years,” he said.