Ms Mary T Murphy says Ethiopia has done a good job in hosting the nearly 850,000 refugees from 19 countries scattered across the African nation.

By Sorcha Pollak (The Irish Times) |

European leaders should visit refugee camps in Ethiopia and Uganda to learn how to manage the stream of asylum seekers arriving on Italian, Greek and Spanish shores, an Irish aid worker has said.

Mary T Murphy, originally from Cork, is refugee program manager for the GOAL aid agency’s two refugee camps in the Gambela region of Ethiopia – Kule and Tierkidi – near the South Sudanese border.

Ms Murphy, who left her job as a staff nurse in Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin in 1994 to volunteer in response to the Rwandan genocide, says Ethiopia has done a good job in hosting the nearly 850,000 refugees from 19 countries scattered across the African nation.

While developed countries like Italy are struggling to manage the arrival of people crossing the Mediterranean, Ethiopia has experience in dealing with hundreds of thousands of people arriving from countries like South SudanSomalia and Eritrea, says Ms Murphy.

“They should visit and take the experiences they see from Uganda and Ethiopia back to Europe. In Ethiopia they try and put people who speak the same language in the same area and keep communities together. The hope would be that if they have to stay long term, there will be more integration although the problem is for now they’re living in more marginalized parts of the country.”

Continue reading this story at The Irish Times
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