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The three-day visit between 3 and 5 February by a UNFPA delegation to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) sites in the East Wellega Zone of the Oromia Region in wester Ethiopia revealed critical need for UNFPA intervention to address the needs of women and girls in the camps and surrounding host communities. The UNFPA delegation led by the Country Representative, Bettina Maas, conducted during the visit a familiarization excercise on the emergency and humanitarian situation there.

Discussion was held with the concerned officials of the Zone on the humanitarian situation. It was disclosed by the officials that there are more than 157 thousand internally displaced persons in six districts in the Zone displaced from the neighboring Benishangul-Gumuz Region due to recent incidences of political unrest there. The delegation also had the chance to interact with the IDPs and host community members.  

Health workers have been deployed from health centers, and district and zonal health offices to provide health care services for the IDPs, it was indicated by the officials. The significant increase in the population of the districts due to the influx of the IDPs has, however, led to a remarkable increase in the caseload of the health facilities, it was revealed. The health workers, some of whom were trained in the Minimum Initial Service Package organized by UNFPA, stressed the need for inteventions addresing maternal and neonatal health and gender based violence.

The Wellega University Referral Teaching Hospital was also visited by the delegation where briefing was given by the Medical Director and visit was made to the section of the hospital that has been agreed to be a GBV One-stop Center with support from UNFPA to provide comprehensive protection services to clients including IDPs.

Discussion was also held with humanitarian actors on the ground coordinating emergency response confirming the high demand for UNFPA contribution to the response and resilience building, particularly in the area of gender-based violence protection and provision of dignity kits.

UNFPA, in collaboration with Government and other partners is currrently supporting different humanitarian response interventions in various parts of the country to strengthen access to essential reproductive health and gender based violence services for IDPs, refugees and host commuities.