ADDIS ABABA, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Filippo Grandi has reaffirmed the commitment to support the humanitarian response for refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs) in Ethiopia and work toward achieving long-term solutions, including for those displaced by drought and the impact of climate change.
"While the last few years have been incredibly difficult for many of those affected by the conflict, I was very encouraged to see the progress made towards peace in northern Ethiopia and to witness all the efforts made in getting more aid to the people who lost everything," UNHCR quoted Grandi as saying in a statement released Wednesday.
Grandi made the remarks upon the conclusion of a three-day visit to Ethiopia, where he met with senior government officials and displaced communities including Eritrean refugees.
Since the peace deal in November last year, the UN refugee agency and other partners have been able to step up the delivery of much-needed aid including medicines, shelter materials, clothes, household items and blankets, the statement said.
"Progress is visible on the ground. People are now getting assistance. Some have started to go back to their homes, but much more needs to be done to support the reconstruction and recovery efforts in the Afar, Amhara and Tigray regions," Grandi said. "This will be critical to improve their living conditions and work towards lasting solutions, including voluntary returns to their communities."
During his visit, the high commissioner met with Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewde, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Demeke Mekonnen and other officials, thanking them for Ethiopia's continued hospitality towards refugees. ■