New plan aims to tackle migrant crisis in the East African country
THE BRITISH government, the European Union and the World Bank have announced a plan to create 100,000 jobs in Ethiopia to help tackle the migrant crisis.
Two industrial parks will be built in the country at a cost of $500m (£385m).
Ethiopia, which proposed the plan, will be required to grant employment rights to 30,000 refugees.
UK prime minister Theresa May said the project would be a model for how to support poorer countries housing large numbers of migrants.
Ethiopia hosts more than 700,000 asylum seekers, mainly from South Sudan, Eritrea and Somalia.
The deal, which was announced yesterday (Sept 21) at the UN summit on refugees in New York, will be funded by loans from the European Investment Bank (EIB) and grants from the UK and the World Bank.
EIB President Werner Hoyer, said: “We know that Ethiopia is for many a stopping point before making the dangerous onward journey to final destinations in Europe. Initiatives and projects like this provide people with a choice to stay closer to home and an opportunity for economic growth as well.”
“This is a ground-breaking project – a showcase for Sub-Saharan Africa – and one that perfectly reflects our conviction that creating job opportunities and economic resilience in countries impacted by the migration and refugee challenge is the right way ahead. It’s also an excellent example of how the EU bank is helping Europe act beyond its borders to tackle the refugee and migration challenges which now affect nearly every part of the globe.”
Hoyer added: “Giving refugees the chance to work alongside local people makes sense. This project could lead to the employment of about 100,000 Ethiopians and refugees working side by side in good sustainable jobs. This is why the EIB is pleased to announce that we have agreed to work with the Ethiopian Government as well as other EU and international development partners y to support it and why I have assured Prime Minister Desalegn of this. I congratulate him on the leadership he has shown and on his determination to build on this idea.”
As part of the agreement Ethiopia will grant refugees employment rights, which many currently do not have.
A number of the new positions will be reserved for Ethiopia’s growing number of young jobseekers.