The high Eritrean refugee influx continues
January 27, 2015
Although at a slightly decreased rate compared to previous months, large numbers of Eritrean refugees continued to cross the Ethiopian border into Tigray region. During the first two weeks of January, UNHCR and ARRA registered more than 1,400 Eritreans at the Endabaguna transit center near Shire, bringing the total number of Eritrean refugees to more than 125,000. The last quarter of 2014 saw Eritrean refugees arriving at a monthly average of 5,000 people. Before the spike in the number of arrivals in October 2014, the rate was steady at a monthly average of 800 to 1000 people between 2010 and 2012, and an average of 2,000 refugee arrivals from March 2013 to September 2014. The influx of late 2014 congested the reception center and resulted in shortages of shelter in the camps. UNHCR and ARRA, with support from IOM, are decongesting the reception center by expediting the relocation of the new arrivals to the camps. To date, IOM transported more than 2,800 new Eritrean refugees from Endabaguna transit center to the camps. Last week, the Humanitarian Response Fund supported two NRC projects worth US$1.2 million for emergency shelter, core relief items and livelihoods support for Eritrean refugees in Shire.