Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Improving The Lot Of Refugees

 If statistics from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR, is anything to go by, then, the future looks bleak especially for developing countries. They currently host 81 percent of the over ten million refugees worldwide. The current refugee population is said to have reached an all time high in eighteen years, as of the beginning of 2012. Fifty-five percent of current refugees hail from Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq, Sudan and recently Syria. The figures are indeed frightening. Political instability, which culminates into civil wars and until a decade ago acts of terrorism have been identified as key factors that are accountable for forced displacement. The fallout from civil wars and its subsequent dent on socio economic activities are many a time not quantifiable. Thousands of valuable able-bodied men and women are displaced and in many instances, wallow in poverty in foreign lands and are buried with ideas that can change lives or turn fortunes around. The United Nation through its agencies such as the UNHCR has over the decades helped in providing displaced persons with some of life's basic necessities. Some of the Refugees are also resettled back in their countries, as is the case with the Ghana Refugee Board's partnership with the UNHCR in connection with our West African neighbours Liberians and others. The UNHCR spent three point five-nine dollars in 2012 to cater for Refugees. Some of the services they render include offering assistance, capacity building and emergency response to situations.

In the last 20 years the West Africa sub-region has witnessed a wave of civil wars which witnessed an influx of refugees into Ghana. The country now has about 18 thousand refugees from 29 different countries. Previous governments and the present one, as well as Ghanaians should be given a pat on the back for showing love and concern to displaced persons and above all for their hospitable nature. This year’s World Refugees Day is themed "One family torn apart by war is too many". It seeks to bring to the fore, challenges with refugee populations which comprise the family. And also raise public awareness on refugee issues. The displacement of persons as a result of war cannot be overlooked. Just as various countries have warmly received Refugees with open arms, the refugees must also reciprocate the gesture by abiding by the laws of such countries. Also political actors must be careful about how they handle national issues so as to limit misunderstandings which by and large fester into conflicts. More-so, refugees must be seen as partners in development. They must be equipped with requisite skills that can be harnessed to serve beneficial purposes. Perfection is said to be an impossible human goal. But we must always aspire to learn from experiences because history gives us a hindsight into the past an insight into the present and a foresight into the future.

BY: ABRAHAM DONKOR, A JOURNALIST .

No comments:

Post a Comment