Wednesday, Oct 20, 2021

June 20, 2021 (DJIBOUI, Djibouti): IGAD region has one of the highest concentration of displaced persons. As of April 30th 2021, IGAD region had over 14.3 million displaced persons comprising of over 4.3 million refugees and 9.8 million IDPs. Nearly 1 out of every 5 displaced persons globally, resides in the IGAD region. While majority of refugee caseloads in the IGAD region are protracted, new displacements continue to occur. Majority of the displaced population within the IGAD region emanate from countries within the region.

Despite declining trend of third-country resettlement figures and the mobility restrictions brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, IGAD member states have maintained an open-door policy to refugees from within and beyond the IGAD region..

Since 2017, IGAD Member States have pursued a regional approach in finding durable solutions for displaced population and their host communities. The regional approach to durable solution emanated from the March 2017 Special Summit on durable solutions for Somali refugees and reintegration of returnees in Somalia. The Summit recognized the regional nature of impacts and solutions for both displacement and mixed migration, and called for a strengthened framework for regional integration and cooperation. The focus of the regional approach has since been expanded beyond the Somali situation to cover all displaced population within the IGAD territory.

The roll out and operationalisation of the Nairobi Plan of Action is considered to be a regional application of the Global Compact for Refugees and its accompanying Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF). Currently, the operationalisation, follow-up and monitoring of the implementation of the Nairobi Action Plan is carried out through an Annual Inter-Ministerial Stocktaking Meeting and various thematic meetings. ”

Considerable progress has been made over the last two years across various thematic areas, mainly:

  • Education: through the adoption of the Djibouti Declaration granting access to education for refugees, returnees and which was endorsed by the IGAD Ministers of Education in 2018 in Djibouti; and the development of national plans of action on refugee education;
  • Livelihood: through the Kampala Declaration on Jobs, livelihoods and self-reliance for refugees, returnees and host-communities; and
  • Health: through the integration of refuges, migrants’ cross border and mobile population in country health programming, particularly in the context of covid-19.

More recently, regional efforts have focused on the displacement situation in the Sudan and South Sudan, aimed at harnessing the peace dividends stemming from the implementation of the peace agreements reached for Sudan and South Sudan to find lasting solutions for 7 million displaced persons in and from the two countries.

June 9, 2021: (KHARTOUM, Sudan): During his recent visit to the Republic of Sudan, 7-9 June 2021, the Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), H.E. Workneh Gebeyehu, PhD, held a brief meeting with Vice Chancellors of two major universities in Khartoum: Prof Fadwa Taha, University of Khartoum and Prof. Hunud Abia Kadouf, International University of Africa. The Meeting was also attended, among others, by Mme Fathia Alwan, Director of IGAD Health and Social Development Division, Dr. Osman Bilail, IGAD Head of Mission in Khartoum, Mr. Tadjadine Bechir Niam, Director of External Relations and Graduate Affairs, International University of Africa, Mr. Phillip Gathungu, IGAD, Ambassador Ismail Wais, PhD, IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan, Dr. Elduma Mohamed, IGAD; and Kebede Kassa Tsegaye, PhD, Senior Coordinator, IGAD Education Program.

The two universities recently signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for partnership and collaboration with IGAD. Moreover, Prof Taha is current Chairperson of the Board of IGAD Council of Higher Education (ICHE) established at the First IGAD Universities Forum held on 5-6 April 2021 at Jigjiga University. The International University of Africa (IUA) and IGAD was the first University to offer 200 scholarship opportunities for students from the IGAD region with special focus on students from refugees, returnees and host communities.

During the meeting, the Executive Secretary commended the universities for their commitment to promote regional integration through higher education. Both sides agreed to strengthen partnerships in key areas of concern for the region, including agriculture and food security, the role of universities in conflict prevention, peacebuilding and conflict resolution, among others.

Consultation will continue on these and other issues, including the possibility of organizing regional conferences on themes related to the above areas.



May 29, 2021: (ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) yesterday concluded the regional dialogue on the COVID-19 Response Mechanism application and the validation workshop of the continuation request on the multi country TB intervention among refugees in the region.

The four-day two meetings were on the priorities for the COVID 19 Response Mechanism application and the current TB grant Interventions that will be maintained in the continuation request to the Global Fund.

The participating organisations and entities were the Country Coordinating Mechanism Committees, officials from member states’ Ministries of Health, the COVID-19 Coordinating Authorities and the Refugee Commissions of Member states. They were joined by the Global Fund Grant sub recipients: the Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs of Ethiopia, the Kenya Red Cross Society and the UNHCR. In the consultations meeting, representatives of refugee communities did participate in.

The objectives of the dialogue were to:

  • Identify the priorities for the COVID-19 Response Mechanism application through broader engagement with stakeholders, Country Coordinating Mechanisms (CCMs) of member states and refugee communities;
  • Discuss and agree on TB interventions in the current grant by the Global Fund to be maintained in the continuation request;
  • Validate the continuation request through having regional consultations with the involvement of CCM, Sub recipients and key stakeholders;
  • Facilitate the process of endorsement of the proposal by each country CCMs.

By the end of the two meetings, the participants:

  • Agreed on the priorities for the COVID-19 Response Mechanism application;
  • Identified current grant interventions that will be maintained in the continuation request;
  • Validated the continuation request.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021 (Djibouti-Ville, Djibouti): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has made access to education by refugees, returnees and host communities one of its top priorities. In December 2017, IGAD ministers in charge education adopted the Djibouti Declaration and Plan of Action on education for people in forced displacement. This was re-affirmed by the Addis Ababa Call for Action issued at the end of the second conference of ministers held in December 2018. The Key Priority Areas of the Djibouti Declaration

  • Regional Education Quality Standards
  • Regional Skills Development for Refugees
  • Inclusion of Refugees Education in National Education Systems
  • Accreditation and Certification of Education Programs
  • Financing, Partnership, Monitoring and Evaluation

At the heart of all these lies access to quality, affordable, inclusive and relevant education to all but with a focus on populations in displacement settings. IGAD has been working very hard to ensure inclusive and equitable opportunities for this population group.  Scholarship is one important means of ensuring equity and inclusivity both among refugees and other marginal populations. With this in mind, IGAD launched a regional scholarship program to enable eligible citizens achieve their aspirations in life though higher education and skills development programs,

The initiative was launched by the Executive Secretary of IGAD, Dr Workneh Gebeyehu, on 5th April 2021 at the 1st IGAD Universities Forum held at Jigjiga University in Ethiopia. The launch took place in the presence of, among others, the President of the Somali Regional State of Ethiopia, H.E. Mustafe Muhemed Omer and the State Minister for Science and Higher Education of Ethiopia, Professor Afework Kassu. Speaking on the Occasion, Dr Workneh stressed that “special emphasis will be given to candidates, particularly girls, from refugee and displacement affected communities”. 

IGAD is working with universities in the region to make scholarships available. So far, the International University of Africa in Sudan and the Kampala International University in Uganda have made generous offers of 200 and 100 scholarships opportunities, respectively. This has far exceeded the number of opportunities IGAD expected to be available in the short-run. Other major universities in the region have also pledged support to the Program; and specific numbers shall be communicated in due course.


The Guidelines for the Scholarship Program is posted below. 👇


April 19, 2021 (Addis Ababa). The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) marked yet another milestone on its ambition to establish a Regional Cancer Centre of Excellence (RCCE) after H.E. Workneh Gebeyehu led a ceremony that laid the foundation stone of the Centre together with H.E. The Deputy Mayor of Addis Ababa., The 200,000-square-metre land that was donated by the Government of Ethiopia will be the home of the state-of-the-art Centre.

The ground-breaking ceremony implements the 2012 decision of the IGAD Council of Ministers that called for the establishment of the Cancer Centre. The ceremony in Addis Ababa was attended by the Minister of Health of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Ambassadors of IGAD Member States accredited to IGAD, members of the diplomatic community, and community leaders.

In his opening remarks, the IGAD Executive Secretary said that the Cancer Centre “manifests our commitment to cooperate and collaborate to take cancer care closer to the communities and will serve to drive IGAD’s regional integration agenda through the provision of healthcare at a regional level”. Dr Workneh applauded IGAD member states for the moral and material support for the initiative.

Speaking at the event, H.E. Ms. Lia Tadesse, the Minister for Health of Ethiopia said the establishment of this treatment, training and research centre marks a key milestone in the fight against cancer for the IGAD region and for the African continent as the centre will significantly contribute to building stronger, and more resilient health systems.

The guest of honour Her Lordship Adanach Abiebie, the Deputy Mayor of Addis Ababa City Administration informed the attendees that the project, which will be located on twenty hectares of land donated by the city government and valued at a cost of $500 million US dollars. Madam Adanach was upbeat on the initiative; “I would to say that we have made it a tradition not only to start, but also complete projects” she said in her speech.

Deputy Mayor said donation of 200,000-meter square strategic land for free, “demonstrates our firm commitment towards providing better health services.”

Dr. Workneh acknowledges and appreciates the critical support of IGAD partners and appealed to their continued support to help the project to come to fruition

The World Health Organisation estimates that cancer deaths in Sub-Saharan Africa will double in the next 20 years and that cancer rates will increase faster in Africa compared to any other region of the globe. The rate of cancer prevalence in the IGAD region is also very high and the disease is claiming more lives than HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined.

Upon completion, the centre will provide accessible world-class quality cancer care services including diagnosis, treatment, and research. The primary objective of the Centre is aimed at dealing with the growing cancer-induced healthcare challenge being experienced in the region, and train skilful and competent professionals in prevention and treatment of cancer. 

IGAD is an inter-governmental body consisting of eight member states that include Eritrea, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda.


Press contact:

Dr Girum Hailu, Senior Advisor, Health and Social Development Division.

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