General News of Friday, 18 December 2015
UNHCR and the World Food Programme have stopped giving food to some Ivorian refugees who were receiving food assistance.
There are about 9,000 Ivorians currently in camps in the Western, Central and Brong Ahafo regions of Ghana.
In September this year, the UNHCR stopped supplying food to those Ivorian refugees who were receiving food assistance.
Speaking on Joy News TV’s Am Show Friday, Programme Coordinator of the Ghana Refugee Board, Tetteh Padi, said with what is happening in areas like Syria, Burundi, and North Africa, a lot of focus has shifted from Ghana.
“Those areas have become priorities and so the assistance is going more towards there; the Ivorian situation is no longer seen as an emergency”.
The World Food Programme assists the UNHCR worldwide to provide food but with the Syrian crisis, Tetteh Padi says the attention on Syria “is affecting us in a very direct way because the funding that would have come to us is simply not coming to us and its making things very difficult”
Tetteh Padi also disclosed that many Ivorian refugees have refused to go back home due to fears of victimization and general apprehension.
The Refugee Board plans to begin the process of voluntary repatriation next year through the tripartite arrangement with the government of Ghana, Ivory Coast and the UNHCR.
With food aid totally ceased now, the refugee board is asking for support from the general public.
There are approximately 21,331,000 refugees from about 26 different countries including those who have applied for but have not yet been granted asylum in Ghana. Out of this number, 11, 452 of them are from Ivory Coast.
There are significant numbers of refugees from Sudan, Chad and the Central African Republic as well as countries where there is still conflict.