Supporting the implementation of the Global Compact on Refugees in Ethiopia (S4G)

Support for the Implementation of the Global Compact on Refugees in Ethiopia (S4G)

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  • Commissioning Party

    German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

  • Country
  • Lead executing agency


  • Overall term

    2021 to 2024

  • Other Stakeholders

    German Development Bank kfW, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), Ministry of Water and Energy Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Refugee and Returnee Service Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Bureau of Water, Somali Regional State of Ethiopia

  • Products and expertise

    Security reconstruction and peace


Ethiopia, which hosts the third largest refugee population in Africa, has made considerable commitments as part of the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR). These cover such areas as jobs, livelihoods, education, protection and energy. The national Refugee and Returnee Service (RRS) is the government counterpart of UNHCR in Ethiopia, leading the protection and overall coordination of refugee-related interventions in the country.

S4G is a component of the Joint GIZ-UNHCR Global Programme. It supports the implementation of the Global Compact on Refugees and a regional water, sanitation and hygiene project (R-WASH), which is financed by KfW and implemented by UNICEF and UNHCR. One main activity of this is to develop an integrated and climate-sensitive water supply system to serve hosts and refugees equally. The lack of access to clean and affordable drinking water impacts refugees and hosts equally. Moreover, it carries along a significant potential for conflict if not addressed. Hence, the project fosters the inclusion of refugees in national service provision, social cohesion, and improves climate resilience in Ethiopia’s communities.


The implementation of the GCR in Ethiopia is being enhanced by projects like R-WASH, which is establishing a climate sensitive water supply system in Ethiopia for refugees and host communities, and thereby contributing to the humanitarian-development-peace nexus.


S4G supports the main actors in the implementation of R-WASH, among other things by enhancing coordination between the humanitarian and development actors and creating better linkages between entities at national, regional and international level. Directly engaging the Somali Water Development Bureau creates government ownership and accountability from the outset. This enhances government capabilities and long-term commitment to the project goals and promotes environmentally sensitive management of the water system. It also supports the successful implementation of fully integrated service delivery in future. Lessons learned on matters such as cooperation and technical aspects, as well as factors such as utility establishment, tariff setting and comprehensive community involvement in managing and maintaining the system can inform similar interventions in the water and other sectors, thus increasing access to services for refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Ethiopia.

Last update: May 2023

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