ARRA, WFP, and UNHCR have endorsed the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the Distribution of Assistance using Global Distribution Tool (GDT) in the Ethiopia Refugee Operation. The overall purpose of the SOP is to guide the effective and efficient distribution of assistance (Food, Cash, and Core Relief Items) to registered refugees and asylum seekers in Ethiopia. 

During the signing ceremony organized today, 13th of August 2021 at the Ramada Hotel in Addis Ababa, the Heads of the three agencies called all partners in the Ethiopia refugee operation to apply these SOPs to increase accountability and efficiency, and also generate real time reports in the assistance distribution using the GDT. 

In his closing remarks at the event, Ato Tesfahun Gobezay, Director General of ARRA, highlighted that digitization is placed at the top in the Agency’s strategic priorities. He also, underscored the importance of documenting the lessons learned so far, customization, and also following phased approaches in rolling out the GDT. Ato Tesfahun, also emphasized the need to continuously enhance the overall capacity of ARRA at all levels. Finally, he urged the three agencies to closely collaborate and effectively discharge their responsibilities in accordance with the SOP.  

The GDT is UNHCR’s corporate tool for identity management and assistance tracking at the point of assistance distribution. The GDT is a Biometrics portfolio, enabling a crucial distribution-focused functionality to operations using Bio-metric Identity Management System (BIMS).          

Once operationalized, the GDT is expected to quickly and accurately verify assistance collectors during distribution using biometrics; reduce avenues for fraud; digitize and speed-up the overall distribution process and generate real time reports; provide relevant partners with secure access to distribution related database; and ensure principles of accountability, transparency and integrity are observed during distributions.