Japan Boosts UNHCR Ghana Operations

Chansa Kapaya
The Government of Japan has donated $300,000 towards the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) operations in Ghana.

The donation is to enable UNHCR Ghana to provide international protection and humanitarian assistance to 9,800 Ivorian refugees living in refugee camps in Western, Central and Brong Ahafo regions as well as in urban locations in Ghana.

The $300,000 donation is the second from the government of Japan since 2013, when UNHCR received a donation of $1, 6000,000 with this coming at a critical period when there is a desperate shortfall in funding for UNHCR operations worldwide.

The donation from the government of Japan is very significant and timely, as consistently dwindling resources continue to hinder delivery of humanitarian assistance to refugees in Ghana.

With reference to Ghana, Ivorian refugees are currently experiencing a 50 percent reduction in food rations. Food assistance for refugees in camps is expected to be discontinued with effect from September 2015 due to funding shortfalls experienced by the World Food Programme (WFP).

In addition, four years after the 2011 influx of Ivorians into Ghana, 65 percent of the refugees in camps in Ghana continue to live in emergency plastic tents due to lack of funds.

The 2015 donation would enable UNHCR to continue providing assistance in the five important sectors funded by the Japanese government since 2013- nutrition, health, education, prevention and response to SGBV and livelihoods.

‘I am sincerely grateful to the people and government of Japan for the continued partnership, support and generosity to UNHCR, because the committed support and generous contributions of donors is vital for UNHCR to continue providing the much needed assistance to refugees in Ghana ‘ Chansa Kapaya, UNHCR representative in Ghana, said.

Ghana hosts a total 21,000 refugees, including 11,262 Ivorian refugees who fled to Ghana in 2011 as a result of the post electoral crisis in Ivory Coast.

Majority of Ivorian refugees in Ghana have expressed unwillingness to return, citing continued insecurity, and to date, the country continues to record new arrivals.

The government of Japan is one of the top donors for UNHCR programmes globally as well as in Ghana.

By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri

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