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General News Sun, 17 Jun 2007

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Ghana hosting 50,000 refugees

Kadjebi-Oboase (V/R) June 17, GNA- Ghana is currently hosting and providing safe haven for 50,000 refugees from over 12 countries, including those from Togo, Liberia and the Sudan, Mr Senai Terrefe, Officer In-charge of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) disclosed.
He said, according to statistics, over 40 million people were being displaced globally and internally.
Mr. Terrefe was addressing the Volta Region version of the World Refugee Day celebration at Oboase in the Kadjebi District on Friday, which is a prelude to the global event slated for June 20, this year. It was on the theme; " UNHCR and Ghana Refugee Board (GRB)-Humaninsing Refugees"
He praised government, traditional authorities and the Ghana populace for providing safe haven, extending warm hospitality and co-existence between refugees and their host communities, which had become a model situation to the world.
Mr Terrefe said this symbolic relationship was dazzling development partners, as to how and why the right matrix and equation was struck for easy co-existence between refugees and local communities in Ghana, especially in the Volta Region.
He said the tri-partite agreements by the governments of Ghana, Togo and the UNHCR, which calls for the voluntary repatriation of refugees marked a significant milestone, which paved the way for their easy and unconditional return.
Mr. Terrefe paid glowing tribute to refugee women and children for their endurance, creativity, hard work and tolerance, which had promoted their fast re-integration in host countries.
Mr Anicet Ndayisaba, Head of Volta Region Field Office, UNHCR said the Region was hosting 6,700 refugees in 114 locations, stretching from Aflao in the Ketu District to Dodi-Papase in the Kadjebi District, covering a distance of 400 kilometres apart.
He said UNHCR and other partners would continue to make the stay of the refugee humane by providing for their basic necessities, including potable water, health, education and pledged to construct two additional classrooms at Oboase to facilitate teaching and learning. Mr Ndayisaba acknowledged that collaboration between host and volunteer teachers was translating Oboase into a bilingual community. He said UNHCR and GRB were fashioning a practical modality, including voluntary registration of refugees who wish to return home, reiterating that a package awaited those willing to return.
Togbe Ekpe IV, chief of Oboase urged UNHCR and other partners to provide inputs and incentives to assist refugees to venture into economic activities like farming and weaving to be self-reliant. He commended UNHCR, GRB, the Women Initiatives For Self Employment (WISE), the National Catholic Secretariat and the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) for offering various forms of support. Mr. Noah Honu, leader of the Oboase refugees appealed for the integration of the mainstreaming of volunteer teachers into the Ghana Education Service set-up to boost morale.
The refugees endeared themselves to the gathering with poetry recitals, cultural displays, football match, but the touching moment was when a drama group re-enacted the unfortunate April 2005 electioneering campaign in Togo and aftermarth which culminated in their displacement till date.

Kadjebi-Oboase (V/R) June 17, GNA- Ghana is currently hosting and providing safe haven for 50,000 refugees from over 12 countries, including those from Togo, Liberia and the Sudan, Mr Senai Terrefe, Officer In-charge of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) disclosed.
He said, according to statistics, over 40 million people were being displaced globally and internally.
Mr. Terrefe was addressing the Volta Region version of the World Refugee Day celebration at Oboase in the Kadjebi District on Friday, which is a prelude to the global event slated for June 20, this year. It was on the theme; " UNHCR and Ghana Refugee Board (GRB)-Humaninsing Refugees"
He praised government, traditional authorities and the Ghana populace for providing safe haven, extending warm hospitality and co-existence between refugees and their host communities, which had become a model situation to the world.
Mr Terrefe said this symbolic relationship was dazzling development partners, as to how and why the right matrix and equation was struck for easy co-existence between refugees and local communities in Ghana, especially in the Volta Region.
He said the tri-partite agreements by the governments of Ghana, Togo and the UNHCR, which calls for the voluntary repatriation of refugees marked a significant milestone, which paved the way for their easy and unconditional return.
Mr. Terrefe paid glowing tribute to refugee women and children for their endurance, creativity, hard work and tolerance, which had promoted their fast re-integration in host countries.
Mr Anicet Ndayisaba, Head of Volta Region Field Office, UNHCR said the Region was hosting 6,700 refugees in 114 locations, stretching from Aflao in the Ketu District to Dodi-Papase in the Kadjebi District, covering a distance of 400 kilometres apart.
He said UNHCR and other partners would continue to make the stay of the refugee humane by providing for their basic necessities, including potable water, health, education and pledged to construct two additional classrooms at Oboase to facilitate teaching and learning. Mr Ndayisaba acknowledged that collaboration between host and volunteer teachers was translating Oboase into a bilingual community. He said UNHCR and GRB were fashioning a practical modality, including voluntary registration of refugees who wish to return home, reiterating that a package awaited those willing to return.
Togbe Ekpe IV, chief of Oboase urged UNHCR and other partners to provide inputs and incentives to assist refugees to venture into economic activities like farming and weaving to be self-reliant. He commended UNHCR, GRB, the Women Initiatives For Self Employment (WISE), the National Catholic Secretariat and the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) for offering various forms of support. Mr. Noah Honu, leader of the Oboase refugees appealed for the integration of the mainstreaming of volunteer teachers into the Ghana Education Service set-up to boost morale.
The refugees endeared themselves to the gathering with poetry recitals, cultural displays, football match, but the touching moment was when a drama group re-enacted the unfortunate April 2005 electioneering campaign in Togo and aftermarth which culminated in their displacement till date.

Source: GNA

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