Addressing protection and multiple socio-economic needs through a triple nexus approach in South Sudan and Ethiopia

Food and Livelihood Improvement for Refugees and Host Communities in Ethiopia

This project focuses on increasing food security and self-reliance for the most vulnerable refugees in four refugee camps in Afar and Gambella regions

DCA Ethiopia

The issue

Refugees in Gambella and Afar regions of Ethiopia are highly dependent on food rations from the World Food Programme and the government. With an increased influx of unregistered refugees hosted in the camps, food insecurity is increasing, and some people are living without any humanitarian assistance. Natural resources are scarce, and especially in Gambella, competition between the local population and refugees has increased. The situation increases pressure on the government and humanitarian actors and has enforced ration cuts, so that food rations for refugees now only covers 15 to 20 days per month for an average family size.

The project

This project focuses on increasing food security and self-reliance for the most vulnerable refugees in four refugee camps in Afar and Gambella regions as well as in the surrounding host communities in Gambella. DCA implements this by combining short term cash and voucher assistance for refugees to access immediate basic needs, especially food, with longer term livelihood activities, which supports refugees and host communities in generating an income and building resilience. Additionally, the project aims to build peace amongst refugees and host communities. For example, in Afar the project works on linking people through mutually benefitting livelihood activities such as sharecropping, and in Gambella, inclusive community dialogues are organised in order to promote social cohesion.

The Change

This project targets vulnerable South Sudanese refugees in Kule and Nguenyyiel camps of Gambella Region, host community youth and women in Itang district of Gambella region and Eritrean refugees in Aysaita and Serdo, including relocated refugees from Berhale, in Afar region. In Gambella, DCA continues the use of fresh food e-vouchers ensuring refugees access to nutritious food. In Afar, DCA will scale unrestricted, direct cash for food and other basic needs. In all four camps, DCA’s program is complementary to ongoing in-kind food or cash for food distributions by the government and other humanitarian actors.

Accordingly, the project has the following overarching objectives:

A) To improve food security and dietary diversity of South Sudanese and Eritrean refugee households by creating access to complementary food through electronic vouchers and direct cash

B) To enhance economic self-sufficiency and food security of South Sudanese refugees and host communities in Itang and Abol districts of Gambella Region by improving their livelihoods opportunities

Potur: I am just starting – I plan to make it big

As a refugee and a micro-entrepreneur Potur was eligible for entrepreneurship and business management training – and for capital to get his business airborne.

Read Potur’s story
Turning dreams into reality

“I am now earning enough per month to meet my family’s basic needs,” says Fatuma, an Eritrean refugee in Ethiopia. 

Read Fatuma’s story

The Results

The project is currently in its last of three years. Some of the results which have been achieved during the first two years include:

Significantly improved food security and dietary diversification of 24,155 South Sudanese refugees, primarily women, in Kule and Nguenyyiel refugee camps in Gambella.

Supported 860 households from the host community and refugee camps in Gambella for improving their livelihood and resilience to natural and manmade shocks. 55% of the people supported have increased their income.

Supported 19,925 Eritrean refugees in Afar to meet their basic needs through cash.

Supported 484 Eritrean refugee households in Afar for improved livelihoods through activities such as sharecropping, poultry farming, goat fattening, Self-help groups, solid waste management, and driving license training.

Our work

DCA has supported relief projects in Ethiopia since the 1970s. It operated through local partners since 1982 and in 2004 the country office in Addis Ababa was established. DCA has field offices in Sekota-Waghimra (Amhara Region), Semera (Afar Region), Robe Town (Bale, Oromia Region) and Gambella city (Gambella Region). DCA Ethiopia’s programme interventions target rural, peri-urban and urban poor, IDPs, refugees and their hosting communities as direct beneficiaries. DCA works across the humanitarian-development-peace (HDP) nexus to bring about sustainability and cohesion. Additionally, DCA introduces innovative and appropriate technologies to address vulnerability, fill in knowledge and skills gaps, build local capacity, and when applicable, works closely with the private sector.   

About this project

Full title: Food and Livelihood Improvement for South Sudanese Refugees and Host Communities in Gambella and Eritrean Refugees in Afar

Period: 22 September 2022 – 21 September 2023

Amount: USD 2,000,000

SDGs: SDG 1 No poverty, SDG 2 Zero Hunger

People reached: Direct: 36,090; Indirect: 37,000 (of the Direct Beneficiaries, 34,717 are Refugees and 1,373 are Non-refugees including host communities. The project is currently in its last out of three years. In the first two years, the project has directly benefitted 39,507 people (38,532 refugees and 975 host community members).

Donor: US State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (BPRM)

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