Ghana currently hosts 13,000 refugees

Some participants at the walk

Some participants at the walk

Currently there are 13,000 refugees and asylum seekers from some African countries living in the country, the programme coordinator at the Ghana Refugee Board (GRB), Mr Tetteh Padi has disclosed.

According to Mr Padi, about 50 per cent of the refugees lived in camps while the rest live among the Ghanaian citizenry in the country.

He said this after the “Step for Safety” walk organised by the United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN refugee agency’s LuQuLuQu campaign held with the aim of raising funds to support refugees living in the country.

It was also to afford participants the opportunity to walk in the steps of persons forced to flee their country in an experiential simulation of a UNHCR reception centre, refugee registration process, distribution of non-food items and refugee shelter.

All these according to the organisers was to give first-hand knowledge of refugee experience to participants at the exercise

The exercise brought together people from all walks of lives including the  members of the diplomatic corps, musicians, actors and the Member of Parliament for Ningo-Prampram, Samuel George Nartey as well as some refugees.

It started from the Accra Polo grounds through the Liberation Road to 37 Military Hospital intersection and back to the Accra Polo grounds using the Gifffard road.

Mr Padi explained that the need to raise funds to support refugees has become necessary because they are no longer considered among emergency situations, as a result their funding continue to dwindle.

Due to this, he stated that, it was becoming more difficult to provide for refugees, adding that currently they are not provided with food assistance, explaining that only the most vulnerable were being assisted.

Mr Padi said that at times funds allocated to the country were withdrawn and redirected to more pressing situations, leaving the country to find means of providing for the refugees and asylum seekers.

He urgued Ghanaians to assist in giving skills training and other means of livelihood to the refugees. He further appealed for cash or any other form of donations or employment.

“Do not let this walk be the end, go to www.luquluqu.org and make your contributions,” he added.

Ms Esther Kiragu, the UNHCR, UN Refugee Agency representative in Ghana said there were 24 million African refugees in the continent advised that Africans should stand up for the challenge because the solution lies with them.

She said the Africa refugees were competing for funding with many others in crisis places in the world.

She said it was for this reason that the walk would be replicated in other African countries such as in Burkina Faso, Kenya and Senegal.

BY JEMIMA ESINAM KUATSINU

 

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