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Ethiopia: IOM erects shelters for S S refugees

South Sudanese women prepare meals at a Gambella refugee camp in 2014. UN Photo
South Sudanese women prepare meals at a Gambella refugee camp in 2014. UN Photo

The International Organization for Migration says it is starting the construction of shelters for more than 4,000 South Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia.

The nearly 900 transitional shelters would be built in the new Ngueny-yiel camp in Gambella.

The Ngueny-yiel was opened in September last year to accommodate roughly 4,000 people.

But the IOM says it currently hosts 27,000 refugees who fled South Sudan due to a conflict.

It says the shelters represent significant upgrades from the emergency structures the refugees are using, mostly covered with plastic sheeting that makes the interiors too hot during the current dry season.

“The new transitional shelters and the ongoing relocations are vital in our ongoing efforts in managing the inflow of South Sudanese refugees into Gambella in a way that really responds to the needs of refugees,” said Miriam Mutalu, the Head of IOM Ethiopia’s Sub-Office in Gambella.

The IOM says the transitional shelters will be built using local techniques and materials, with the refugees playing a large part in the building process.

The shelters are being set up in coordination with Ethiopian authorities.