Lack of jobs for refugees in Ghana should be a national concern

Head of the Ghana Refugee Board, Dr. Kofi Anane has expressed worry at the lack of support for refugees especially in the area of employment. Addressing a press conference ahead of World Refugee Day, he noted the rate of the increase in the number of refugees entering Ghana makes it necessary for the skills of refugees to be harnessed to benefit the economy. World Refugee Day is marked on June 20 every year, the day seeks to highlight the plight of refugees globally and celebrate their resistance and strength in spite of the challenges faced. Ghana is noted as a safe protection region for refugees. Currently Ghana hosts 11,865 refugees and 1,371 asylum seekers, totaling 13, 236 persons of concern in the country. There are 4 refugee camps in Ghana located in the Brong Ahafo, Central and Western region. These camps host two thirds of the country’s total refugee population, and are from 34 different countries of origin. Refugees in Ghana comprise of 6,957 Ivoirians, 3,386 Togolese, 1,364 Liberians, 525 Sudanese, 167 from the Central African Republic and 837 from other countries. Currently, Ivorian refugees stand as the biggest case in Ghana. With the rise of new leaders of the world’s largest refugee protection nations, the response towards refugees is growing cold and largely negative. This informs the theme for this year’s World Refugee day “With refugees Campaign” The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in collaboration with the Ghana Refugee Board is initiating programs aimed at facilitating socio-economic development of the refugees and their communities. These include the establishment of a healthcare centre, and Wi-Fi project in the camps, to improve the livelihood of refugees. Head of the Ghana Refugee Board, Dr. Kofi Anane says the lack of sustainable jobs to make the refugees self sufficient remains the largest challenge faced in the camps. The UNHCR in collaboration with the Ghana Refugee Board would hold a World Refugee Day celebration at the Ampain Refugee Camp in the Ellembelle District of the Western Region on June 2017.

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