Refugees Face Enormous Challenges- Yusuf Gomez

Refugees Face Enormous Challenges- Yusuf Gomez
Refugees Face Enormous Challenges- Yusuf Gomez

Africa-Press – Gambia. The Executive Director of Gambia Food and Nutrition Association (GAFNA), Mr. Yusuf Gomez, has said that the majority of refugees are faced with enormous challenges ranging from livelihood, health and social protection after leaving their countries of origin in emergency situations.

Delivering a keynote address on the occasion of World Refugee Day on the theme: Solidarity with And Solutions for Refugees, Mr. Gomez explained how GAFNA, as a national development NGO, built partnership with UNHCR to provide humanitarian assistance to refugees in order to minimize their vulnerability and improve their socio-economic status as they continue to live in The Gambia.

“The support provided is also geared towards redressing some of the stress placed on the available social amenities in the host communities that is partly due to the influx of these refugees in these communities,” Mr. Gomez said.

The GAFNA boss said his agency has, over the years, adopted a self-reliant and livelihood strategy which, he added, is refugee-host driven based on annual needs assessments conducted prior to any support. This strategy, he went on, recognises the self-reliance and dignity of refugees and focuses more on graduating the refugees from assistance before the end of funding by the UNHCR.

He explained that UNHCR has provided refugees with water sources for both domestic and vegetable gardening in host communities and schools as well as agricultural, and horticultural input support. The funding, further explained Mr. Gomez, is geared towards assisting refugees to live a dignified life in order to take charge of their needs.

He capitalized on World Refugee Day commemorations to thank communities both in the rural and urban areas and by extension, the government for creating an enabling environment for refugees and asylum seekers.

Mrs. Mbayang Njie, representing the interior ministercalled for collective action to protect refugees, while stressing the relentless effort that the ministry continues to employ in the fulfillment of its international obligation.

She gave the assurance that The Gambia, in fulfilling its international obligation, will always provide a safe haven for refugees and other persons of concern (PoCs) and that the government is and will always be committed to assist them in their search for appropriate durable solutions to their plights.

Mrs. Njie acknowledged that most of the refugees in The Gambia are self-reliant when it comes to their daily needs.

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