Accra, July 7, GNA – The Government of Japan has donated $ 300,000 to support the United Nations Refugee Agency’s (UNHCR) operations in Ghana.
A statement by Ms Patience Folley, the UNHCR’s Assistant Public Information Officer, and copied to the Ghana News Agency, said the money would enable the UNHCR to provide international protection and humanitarian assistance to 9,800 Ivorian refugees in refugee camps in the Western, Central and Brong Ahafo Regions, as well as in urban locations in Ghana in 2015.
It said the donation came at a critical period when there was a shortfall in funding for UNHCR operations worldwide.
With reference to Ghana, Ivorian refugees were currently experiencing a 50 per cent reduction in food rations, it said.
It noted that food assistance for refugees in camps was expected to be discontinued with effect from September 2015 due to funding shortfalls experienced by the World Food Programme (WFP).
It said additionally, four years after the 2011 influx of Ivorians into Ghana, 65 per cent of the refugees continued to live in emergency plastic tents due to lack of funds.
Therefore, the statement said, the donation was very significant and timely, as consistently dwindling resources continued to hinder the delivery of humanitarian assistance to refugees in Ghana.
It said the $ 300,000 donation was the second from the Government of Japan since 2013, when UNHCR received a donation of $ 1, 6000,000.
It observed that the 2015 donation would enable UNHCR to continue providing assistance in the five important sectors funded by the Japanese Government since 2013, which were Nutrition, Health, Education, Prevention and Response.
‘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, ‘ Ms. Chansa Kapaya, UNHCR Representative in Ghana, said in the statement.
The statement recounted that Ghana hosted a total of 21,000 Refugees, including 11,262 Ivorian refugees, who fled to Ghana in 2011 as a result of the post electoral crisis in La Cote D’Ivoire.
It said the majority of Ivorian refugees in Ghana had expressed unwillingness to return, citing continued insecurity, and to date the country continued to record new arrivals.
It pointed out that UNHCR activities worldwide were supported by the generous donations from governments to help millions of refugees and other displaced persons around the world.
It said the Government of Japan was one of the top donors for UNHCR programmes globally as well as in Ghana.