Yesterday Ambassador Pratt visited Obock where he met with the Deputy Prefet and representatives of the Regional Council to discuss the challenges and opportunities in the region. They discussed the success of USAID projects that provided training for young people and had improved literacy, as well as opportunities for more engagement in the region. They also discussed Djibouti’s, and Obock’s, welcoming of migrants and refugees as well as the specific challenges facing those in Obock.
Ambassador Pratt also visited the Markazi Camp. As a major donor to the United Nations, the U.S. provides significant support for the Camp. The Ambassador toured the school and medical facility at Markazi and learned that all the teachers are refugees from Yemen and that 18 graduates of the Camp schools are now studying at the University of Djibouti. He also saw the results of income generating activities conducted by the refugees and held a discussion about the challenges they face in the camp. The trip highlighted the extensive efforts made by the Djiboutian government to eliminate barriers for refugees to take advantage of economic and educational opportunities. The United States is proud to provide support and work in partnership with UNHCR and Djibouti to achieve this goal.
The Ambassador then stopped at the International Organization of Migration (IOM) Transit Migration Center where he spoke with migrants who are attempting to return to Ethiopia. The United States provides significant contributions to IOM in East Africa as part of our efforts to provide support and assistance to these communities in need.