The Public Information Office established Outreach Centres in Ethiopia and Eritrea in 2002 to inform local populations about UNMEE’s role in the peace process.
The centres distribute print, radio and video materials about UNMEE and the United Nations. They also have computers with Internet access that students can use to research peacekeeping and other UN-related school and university assignments.
The Outreach Centres in Ethiopia are based in Addis Ababa, Mekelle and Adigrat. Outreach Centres in Eritrea were established in Asmara and Barentu, but were closed in 2003 at the request of the government.
By September 2005, the three Outreach Centres in Ethiopia had welcomed 150,000 visitors. Between July 2006 and June 2007, more than 40,000 people visited the centres.
Outreach Centre staff also visit schools, universities and local organizations to answer questions about UNMEE and distribute copies of the bi-monthly UNMEE News magazine and other UN publications. Staff at the Mekelle and Adigrat Outreach Centres provide an information service for the northern Tigray region, traveling hundreds of kilometres to distribute magazines and screen videos from a mobile van.