The Gambella region of western Ethiopia hosts over 300,000 South Sudanese refugees in seven camps. The refugee response is dominated by UN agencies and international NGOs and staffed mostly by Ethiopians from outside of Gambella, creating a gap between humanitarian actors and the people they seek to assist. In order to realize commitments to localization and refugee participation made in the Charter for Change, the Grand Bargain and the Global Compact for Refugees, it is critical for refugees and local populations to be more involved in shaping and leading the delivery of aid. This could be achieved through increasing the role played by Gambella-based NGOs, engaging with faith-based actors, facilitating diaspora initiatives and supporting the development of refugee-led organizations.
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