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UNHCR launches global compact to relieve refugees impact

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The United Unions High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) has launched a global compact system to alleviate the burden of Cameroon and other refugees on countries of asylum.

The UNHCR representative in Nigeria and ECOWAS, Mr. Antonio Canhandula, who stated this at weekend during a courtesy visit to Cross River State House of Assembly, said: “We have today, a global compact for refugees, and it is about alleviating the weight that refugees brings to countries of asylum.

“When we came, we were given a site to establish a settlement for refugees. We realised that refugees are not the only ones that are poor, even Nigerians in the areas where the refugees stay, are equally poor. Therefore, we have decided that rather than focus only on refugees, we need to also focus on the areas impacted by their presence, this meaning the Nigerian population that has received these refugees.”

He explained that with this step, the body would not leave anyone behind, as the idea is to ensure that refugees do not remain perpetually dependent. He requested that the House continues to support “in our quest to reduce dependence of refugees on humanitarian assistance.”        

While commending the state government for harbouring 70 percent of Cameroonian refugees in the country, he said the commission’s main office was moved to Ojoja because of the high population of refugees recorded in that particular local government area.

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