Japan and UNDP sign agreement to support DDR in Ethiopia

June 3, 2024

3 June 2024, Addis Ababa: The Government of Japan is providing one billion twenty-five million Yen, approximately USD 6.7 million, through the UNDP-managed multi-partner DDR programme supporting the National Rehabilitation Commission (NRC) tasked with demobilizing and reintegrating ex-combatants in Ethiopia.

The funds from Japan will be used to support the procurement of equipment, and training to improve the operational capacity of the commission to demobilize ex-combatants from camps. Health facilities in rural areas within the Tigray region will also be rehabilitated.

NRC Commission Mr Temesgen Tilahun reflected, “We're grateful to the people and government of Japan for the timely and significant contribution made supporting peace-building efforts in Ethiopia. NRC's partnership with UNDP on DDR resource mobilisation is delivering fruits. However, given the huge amount of resources needed, further accelerated efforts are required. We once again call upon friends and partners of Ethiopia to strengthen support to one of the largest DDR processes in the world.

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

Ambassador Shibata Hironori noted, “This financial support will help leading 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.”

“UNDP views this contribution as underscoring Japan's strong commitment to promoting sustainable peace and development in Ethiopia,” Mr Samuel Doe noted, stressing that, “The DDR programme 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 has been supporting DDR programmes across the globe since the 1990s.

The signing ceremony took place at the Ministry of Finance (MoF). The NRC Deputy Commissioner Mr Tesfalem Yihdego, and MoF State Minister Semereta Sewasew witnessed the ceremony.

State Minister Semereta said, "I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Japanese government for being among the front-runners in this regard. The signing of the grant agreement today, for approximately USD 6.7 million underscores, Japan's long-standing partnership with Ethiopia, dating back to 1930 and further strengthened in 1971. I earnestly hope that the government of Japan will continue its technical and financial support to the DDR process as we move forward on top of its existing support for agriculture, infrastructure, education, and private sector development.
"I earnestly hope that 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."

The National Rehabilitation Commission (NRC) was established in November 2022 and is responsible for designing, implementing, and monitoring the demobilization, rehabilitation, and reintegration of an estimated 371,971 ex-combatants in eight regions of Ethiopia. In addition to Japan, the UNDP-managed multi-partner programme for the DDR is supported by the EU, which signed a € 16 million agreement in February 2024.

UNDP manages the DDR programme alongside a wider Peace Support/Stabilisation Programme rolled out recently in Afar, Amhara and Tigray regions.  The programme is supported by Germany, Japan and UNDP’s Funding Windows. The Peace Support programme includes interventions on local governance, human rights, and social cohesion; Basic social services; Economic revival; and durable solutions to internal displacement.

Media contacts

NRC:  habtamu.messel@gmail.com   

Embassy of Japan  : dejele.sakoume@ad.mofa.go.jp /+251 911 753486  

UNDP :  communication.et@undp.org