ADDIS ABABA, May 19 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Thursday said Ethiopia continues to face "a massive chronic displacement situation" amid new forced population movements across the country.
"Ethiopia continues to face a massive chronic displacement situation fused by layers of new forced population movements throughout the country due to conflict, inter-communal violence, natural hazards, and impacts of climate change notably in southeast Oromia, Benishangul Gumuz and Somali regions," the UN refugee agency said in its latest situation update.
Figures from the UNHCR show that as of March 2022, an estimated 5,582,000 persons were displaced within the east African country due to armed conflict and natural disasters.
It said some 2,848,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Amhara, Afar and Tigray regions have returned to their place of origin in the first quarter of 2022, seeking durable solutions.
The UNHCR said despite the ongoing access challenges as insecurity constituting a major impediment to relief operations, it has continued to play a significant role, including leading the process of IDP returns in Tigray, Afar, Amhara and Somali regions.
Support provided by the UNHCR and its partners include the provision of quality protection and services to IDPs, addressing basic needs through shelter, core relief items and camp management activities, to enhance protection and assistance in achieving a durable solution.
Over the first quarter of 2022, UNHCR interventions, implemented with its partners and in close coordination with authorities, have reached 2.1 million people with protection services, shelter and core relief support, it said.
The UNHCR noted that while remaining in situations of protracted displacement, many IDPs and other vulnerable populations face inequality, particularly in access to basic services, housing, land and property, as well as restrictions of their freedom of movement. ■