IOM provides livelihood opportunities to Somali refugees and host communities in and around Dollo Ado, Bokolomayo and Melkadida refugee camps in Somali Region, Ethiopia

Through the Emergency and Post-Crisis unit, IOM provided targeted small-scale livelihood assistance for refugees and host communities in Dollo Ado, Somali Region. Located in the south-east part of Ethiopia, Dollo Ado, Melkadida and Bokolmayo refugee camps in Somali is among the least developed regions with limited access to infrastructure, basic services and security. With large inflows of refugees due to drought from neighboring country Somalia, the host population can be exposed to competition over limited infrastructure, social services, livelihoods and natural resources. The livelihood assistance therefore aims to assist communities to cope with the economic impact of hosting a large number of refugees. Furthermore, activities supporting stabilization and increased social cohesion between refugees and host communities are crucial to mitigate potential tensions that could trigger conflict, secondary displacement and recruitment of youth into extremist groups.

Abdi Fatah Abdi, 20 years old, lives in Dollo town with his mother, father and nine other siblings. Jobless prior to IOM’s livelihood support, Abdi is now earning money enabling him to contribute to family needs, buy himself clothes. The Barbershop has ten members who work on a rotation business and shares the benefits each month.  On sharing his future dreams, Abdi explains how he is saving part of his income: “I would like to open my own barbershop one day using part of the money I’m earning”. IOM supported Abdi and 29 other host community members in Dollo town to initiate their own barbershop business through provision of materials and cash advance. When speaking of the assistance he received, Abdi shares, “We’ve been open for two months and so far it’s doing well. It keeps us busy and at the same time we’re earning”.

IOM’s livelihood intervention in Dollo Ado was funded by the Government of Japan from March 31, 2016 to March 30, 2017. This supported a total of 1,260 beneficiaries from the refugee and host community. The project aimed to ensure the well-being of refugees and host communities through the provision of startup kits to enhance household income. Specifically, refugees and members of Dollo town host community received kits on tailoring/embroidery, beauty salon/henna design, carpentry/woodwork, barbershop and catering.

Wali Nasir Khaline, 30 years old, lives in Dollo town with his wife and three children. He used to work as a daily laborer washing dishes in a restaurant prior to IOM’s livelihood support. Now, Abdi is earning a regular and higher income enabling him to provide for his family and ensure that his children can go to school once they are of age. “I was very excited to hear when IOM announced they were going to provide carpentry start up kits. What IOM provided is life changing. Now I have a steady income”, he explains. On describing his current activity, Abdi shares: “I am currently constructing a bed. The orders are coming in and I’m making relatively good money”. Similar to the barbershop, the carpentry shop is managed by ten members and they work on a rotation basis. Just like Abdi, Wali is also thinking further and saving money to be independent and open his own shop.

With the current drought plaguing Somalia, a continuous upsurge of Somali refugee influx is expected, highlighting the need for continued support from the humanitarian and donor community to meet the needs of both refugees and the host population. “It is essential to upscale our efforts in providing assistance to meet refugees’ and the host population’s needs to foster peaceful coexistence”, explains IOM Head of Sub-Office Joseph Nyangaga.


For further information, please contact Joseph Nyangaga at IOM Dollo Ado, Tel: +251 92 716 7626, Email:­