The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees-UNHCR – High Commissioner Filippo Grandi says communities that host refugees in various African countries are being neglected.
Speaking during an open Session of the Africa Union – Peace and Security Council meeting, Grandi said in many instances, support towards hosting of refuges has mainly been limited to countries at national level, neglecting the communities that have to bear the burden of living with refugees.
According to first Secretary for Press and Tourism at Zambia’s Embassy in Ethiopia Inutu MMwanza, Ghandi also disclosed that the number of refuges worldwide has increased to 65 million.
He also said a proramme called the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework-CRRF, is to be applied to large-scale movements of refugees and protracted refugee situations.
And Ghandi said UHNCR welcomes the AU stance and the role of member states in silencing guns by 2020, adding that the AU must place the root cause of conflict at the centre of its discussions.
“Africa must invest in preventive diplomacy and find ways of deepening democracies among African states,” Ghandi said.
And Chairing the Peace and Security Council Zambia’s Ambassador to Ethiopia Susan Sikaneta said the 20 million refugees in Africa where a huge humanitarian responsibility that need attention.
“These are incredible figures that do not paint a good picture on Africa, and indeed the world, taking into account the chief reasons or root causes of such a situation,” Ambassador Sikaneta said.
She said countries hosting refugees needed to be supported because the refugees require protection, food and shelter.
Ambassador Sikaneta called for solidarity among member states and stakeholders in finding lasting solutions to the problem of refugees.
“It is for this reason that the Peace and Security Council has decided to devote this open session to consider responses to Humanitarian emergencies in Africa,” Ambassador sikaneta said.
She said the Peace and Security Council appreciated the eagerness by participants in helping the people in need of humanitarian assistance, as that was a noble cause.
And the African Union Commission Director for Political Affairs Dr Khabele Matiosa said forced displacements was one of the leading causing of increased numbers of refuges in Africa.
He said forced displacements where as a result of protracted violent acts, terrorism and in some instances poor governance.
Dr Matiosa said it was unfortunate that 60 percent of people displaced where young people who were vulnerable to recruitment into terrorists groups.
Several AU Members states and Development partners expressed concern at the problem of refugees.
The European Union, who are the largest funders of Humanitarian programmes committed to continuing with the financial support.
The USA called for the protection of refugees and ensuring that refuges where self-reliant.
NORDIC countries called for the protection of Civilians.
ECOWAS complained of lack of adequate resources to cater for the need of the refuges while Kenya called for a follow of Pledges by development partners made during conferences.