B/A Regional Coordinator of GRB commends NCS and ADRA

By Nana Osei Kyeretwie, GNA |27 June 2018

Jinijini (B/A), June 22, GNA – Mr. Sika Agbesi, the Brong-Ahafo Regional Coordinator of the Ghana Refugee Board (GRB) has commended institutions and organisations who have ensured the socio-economic survival of the Fetentaa Refugees since their arrival in the country. He appreciated especially the immense humanitarian assistance and relief services by the National Catholic Secretariat (NCS) and the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) to the Persons of Concern (PoC) at the Camp.

Mr. Agbesi gave the commendation in an interview with Ghana News Agency on the sideline of a durbar organised by the GRB with funding by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) to mark the 2018 celebration of the World Refugee Day (WRD) on the theme “We Stand in Solidarity with Refugees” at the PoC refugees Camp, Fetentaa in the Berekum West District of Brong-Ahafo Region.

The WRD is commemorated on June 20 every year globally “to honour the courage, strength and determination of over 50 million women, men and children who are forced to flee their homes under threat of persecution, conflict and violence”. Mr. Agbesi stated the UNHCR through partners like the NCS and ADRA is supporting the PoC in different areas of livelihood activities. But “due to the uprise of forcibly displaced persons worldwide, this assistance has become limited”, He lamented.

Mr. Agbesi who had earlier read the address of Professor Kenneth Agyemang Attafuah, Chairman of the GRB bemoaned that “with 68.5 million persons displaced worldwide, UNHCR funding sources are overstretched and assistance to the refugee programme in Ghana continues to dwindle”. “Government of Ghana meanwhile has continued to increase support for refugees, by ensuring that refugees are included in State sponsored social protection programmes” but government funding, nevertheless could not meet all the needs of PoC, he added.

Mr. Agbesi emphasised there was therefore the need for more assistance from other donor bodies, charitable organisations and individual philanthropists to support the refugees particularly in the area of livelihood activities to help in reducing the burden on the State. He said the Fetentaa Refugee Camp was now the home of 969 Ivorian PoC, comprising 461males and 508 females who fled from La Cote D’Ivoire (the Ivory Coast) in 2011, following a political conflict that degenerated into violence.

The number, Mr. Agbesi explained was the remainder of 3,500 that initially settled at the camp in 2011 but by voluntary repatriation some had gone back to La Cote d’ Voire and other countries whilst others had decided not to return because of political reasons. In a goodwill message earlier read on his behalf, Most Reverend Matthew Kwasi Gyamfi, the Catholic Bishop of Sunyani, said the theme for this year’s commemoration of the WRD reflected the social teachings of the Catholic Church which recognised every human being as a person/ individual with sense of self-respect, self-worth physically, psychologically, integrity and empowerment.

He therefore called for total support from the society for the PoC, saying all category of people and organisations/individuals must compassionately and empathetically do more for refugees, ”recognising their human dignity just like one’s own-self” . Mr. Emmanuel Ansu Twum, the UNHCR Focal Person for Fetentaa Camp read the statement of Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for refugees.

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