Deputy Assistant Secretary Elizabeth Campbell in the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) of the U.S. Department of State visited Ethiopia this week to visit refugee camps and to gain a deeper understanding of the refugee experience in the country. She visted Nguenyyiel Refugee Camp in Gambella August 1-2, 2022. She was then joined by Fiona Evans, Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) of the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa on a visit to Semera, Afar Region August 3, 2022. She finished her time in Ethiopia visiting sites in Addis Ababa.
In Gambella Region, DAS Campbell met with Regional Vice President Thankuey Jock. He shared the challenges and opportunities facing the refugees and host communities in his region. She then joined the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Refugees and Returnee Service (RRS) team to visit Nguenyyiel Refugee Camp. At the camp, she met with refugee leaders residing there to better understand their concerns. She also visited the health center, International Medical Corps (IMC) women and girls’ friendly space, and the Plan International child friendly space at the camp. Finally, the delegation toured agricultural sites sustained by refugees and the ZOA Diary Cow Distribution Project.
In Semera, Afar Region, DAS Campbell and DCM Evans met with the Mayor of Semera, Abdu Musa and Disaster Prevention Food Security Program Coordination Officer Mohammed Husento. They discussed his concerns regarding issues facing communities in the region and Ethiopia as a whole, especially as related to welcoming and hosting refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs). The mayor thanked the delegation for the U.S. government’s continued vital support to Afar and the people of Ethiopia.
The delegation travelled to the Serdo Refugee site where they talked to the UNHCR team administering the camp and community members living there. They visited U.S. government-funded weather-friendly shelters, water and sanitation facilities, the GOAL nutrition center, and the grinding mill – all important components of refugees’ protection and well-being. They held private conversations with women residing in the camp to gain a deeper understanding of their lives and how the American people can continue to be of assistance.
During her final day in Ethiopia, DAS Campbell met with refugees seeking resettlement to the United States at UNHCR’s resettlement interview building in Addis Ababa, established with PRM funding. She then proceeded to a community center for urban refugees operated by Jesuit Refugee Service, where she observed English language and computer literacy classes and engaged with refugee youth.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia.