As the cost-of-living soars, govt reduces budget allocation to refugees dept from K900m to K704m

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As the cost-of-living soars, govt reduces budget allocation to refugees dept from K900m to K704m
As the cost-of-living soars, govt reduces budget allocation to refugees dept from K900m to K704m

Africa-Press – Malawi. Coalition of Civil Society Organizations advocating for the welfare of refugees and asylum seekers has bemoaned the reduction of the budget allocation for the Department of Refugees in the 2024/2025 national budget.

Speaking during an engagement with the Security and Defense Committee of Parliament in Lilongwe, the coalition led by the Youth and Society (YAS) said the reduction in the budget will further affect provision of essential commodities and services to the refugees.

According to YAS executive director Charles Kajoloweka, the budget has been reduced to K704 million from about K900 million in the last financial year.

“We also want government to investigate the extortions that marred the relocation exercise last year, we hope that the committee will also follow up on the human rights violations targeting refugees in the country. We have cases with the police but nothing is moving forward,” he lamented.

Other issues discussed during the engagement include the denial of travel documents for medical treatment and scholarships by refugees, unreasonable delays in refugee status determinations, and the review of the Refugee Act.

The CSOs are also lobbying for meaningful funding for key institutions charged with migration-related issues.

Inua Advocacy chief executive officer Innocent Magambi said the expectation is that after raising their concerns with the committee, some of the challenges faced by refugees at Dzaleka Refugee camp in Dowa will be resolved.

Chairperson of the Security and Defense Committee of Parliament Simeon Salambula said there is a need for continuous engagement among all relevant stakeholders.

He said: “They have raised genuine concerns, as Malawi we have our obligations under the UN and we need to seriously engage all relevant stakeholders including government and the CSOs so that together we can reach a common goal.”

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