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The government of Ethiopia is in the process of buying a 5.2-billion-birr medicine in fear of potential epidemic outbreak at camps where Internally Displaced Peoples (IDPs) are sheltered. This was disclosed at a press briefing by the head of Prime Minister’s Press Secretariat, Nigussu Tilahun on Thursday May 10, 2019.
Discussing the intervention of the government with regard to the unraveling IDP crisis in Ethiopia, Nigussu said that in order to protect internally displaced people from unexpected diseases, the government has established a committee of ministries for the provision of food, water and shelter. And, since the rainy season fast approaching, the government is concerned about the potential of unexpected disease outbreak; and hence the commissioning of medicine procurement to prepare for possibility of an epidemic.
“This is a temporary support,” Nigussu said, adding that, “the main task is to restore the displaced people to their residence areas after ensuring that their places of residences are safe to return.”
In a campaign carried out in all the regional states, 875, 329 people have already been restored to their original places and this, according to Nigussu, is being done according to international standards which include ensuring IDPs participation and respecting the dignity of the displaced people.
However, there are challenges in doing so, he admits. The first is the nature of the conflicts, which is connected to identity and boundary issues, while being driven by hatred.
On the other hand, there are forces that create conflicts in different parts of the country hindering the return of displaced people to their homes. There are also campaigns to humper the restoration process inducing but not limited to spreading distributing false information and exaggerating incidents to create fear among the IDPs.
“There are also some that make money out of it by begging money in the name of the displaced people,” he pointed out.