Japan Grants $6.7mln Support to DDR Process in Ethiopia

ADDIS ABABA – Japan on Monday agreed to provide close to 6.7 million US Dollars in support of the national effort to demobilize and reintegrate ex-combatants in Ethiopia.

The fund will be allocated through the UNDP-managed multi-partner program supporting the National Rehabilitation Commission (NRC) responsible for the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration or DDR process.

According to Japan’s embassy, the grant will finance the procurement of equipment, and training to improve the operational capacity of the Commission to demobilize ex-combatants from camps as well as rehabilitate health facilities in rural areas in Tigray region.

NRC Commissioner Temesgen Tilahun appreciated Japan’s “timely and significant contribution” in supporting peace-building efforts in Ethiopia.

Established in November 2022, the Commission is responsible for the demobilization, rehabilitation, and reintegration of an estimated 371,971 ex-combatants in eight regions.

Commissioner Temesgen said NRC’s partnership with the UN Development Program on DDR resource mobilization “is delivering fruits.”

“However, given the huge amount of resources needed, further accelerated efforts are required,” he said. “We once again call upon friends and partners of Ethiopia to strengthen support to one of the largest DDR processes in the world.”

Japan’s Ambassador to Ethiopia Shibata Hironori and UNDP’s Resident Representative for Ethiopia Samuel G. Doe signed the partnership agreement at the Ministry of Finance.

Ambassador Shibata said the latest financial support from his country “will help lead to the launch of demobilization of ex-combatants on the ground, as soon as possible.”

“The Government of Japan would like to proceed by cooperating with the Ethiopian government and people, who have the ownership and responsibility for achieving the real peace and prosperity in this country,” he added.

UNDP manages the multi-partner DDR program alongside a wider Peace Support/Stabilization Program rolled out recently in Afar, Amhara and Tigray regions.

“The DDR program will help ex-combatants contribute positively to their local communities and the wider nation, thus fostering hope, especially for Ethiopia’s youth, in a peaceful and better future,” UNDP’s Resident Representative Doe noted.

State minister of Finance Semereta Sewasew witnessed the signing ceremony and expressed her “earnest hope” that “Japan will continue its technical and financial support to the DDR process”, and the “demobilization process will adhere to the timeline outlined in the updated program.”

“The government remains committed to supporting the DDR process through providing both technical and financial assistance and fostering an enabling environment for its effectiveness,” Semereta said.

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