UN goodwill ambassador commends Ethiopia's open-door policy to refugees

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ADDIS ABABA, May 24 (Xinhua) -- The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) Goodwill Ambassador Priyanka Chopra Jonas on Friday commended Ethiopia's open-door policy towards refugees as she concluded her Ethiopia visit.

The goodwill ambassador, who has been in Ethiopia visiting refugee children who have fled their countries due to conflict and humanitarian crises, said "What I saw in Ethiopia is the capacity of human beings to empathize with and alleviate human suffering."

"Ethiopia is a shining example of what we - individuals, communities and governments - can do to help those who have been displaced by conflict and humanitarian disasters by allowing an open-door policy to refugees and providing protection to those seeking asylum in the country," Chopra Jonas said in a statement that followed her week-long Ethiopia visit.

During her visit, Chopra Jonas met children and young people living in the Bambasi refugee camp, which is home to 17,000 refugees, largely from Sudan, as well as Hitsats and Adi-Harush camps, where 55,000 refugees from Eritrea currently live.

"Children uprooted from their homes by war and disasters endure the most disruption to their lives," she said.

"They miss out on education, health care and stability, which makes them extremely vulnerable to violence, abuse or exploitation," she added.

The East African country is home to 900,000 refugees, as the country hosts the second largest refugee population in Africa, according to figures from UNICEF.

According to UNICEF, majority of refugees in Ethiopia "were forcibly displaced from their homes in Somalia, South Sudan, Eritrea, Sudan and Yemen as many of them crossed borders in search of peace or a better life, facing deadly dangers and discrimination along the way." Enditem

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