Zambia has called for increased funding towards refugee protection and management in host African countries.
Vice President, Mutale Nalumango, stated that the global refugee crisis had continued to escalate, placing immense strain on host countries that had generously opened their boarders to those in need.
Nalumango made the call in Geneva when she delievered a speech during the Second Global Refugee Forum (GRF), which is dedicated to addressing the global refugee crisis.
She noted that it was becoming increasingly evident that the budgets allocated to hosting states, especially in Africa, do not potray the actual representation of needs.
“Refugee-hosting nations such as Zambia, are confronted not only with the immediate needs of those seeking safety within their borders, but also with the long term task of fostering their integration and ensuring they are self reliant,” Nalumango stated.
The Vice President stressed that these responsibilities were substantial and come with significant financial burdens.
“It is for this reason, that I take this opportunity to extend our appeal to the donor community, emphasizing the importance of contributing unearmarked funds through the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR),” she said.
Nalumango noted that accessing earmarked funds for other activities, often pose various challenges, saying unrestricted support would enhance the effectiveness of humanitarian efforts.
She stated that earmarked funding does not allow the Commission and hosting countries the flexibility of allocating the funds to evolving and complex challenges.
“I wish to call upon the international community to continue with its support by supplimenting efforts of refugee hosting countries, for a comprehensive and sustainable response to the refugee situation,” the Vice President appealed.
Nalumango reaffirmed Zambia’s commitment to humanitarian obligations and assured delegates at the Forum that government would continue to enhance coordination and collaboration with its partners.
She highlighted that currently Zambia hosts 93,183 asylum seekers, refugees, and former Angolan and Rwandan refugees in designated settlements as well as urban areas.
“Settlements, which are situated in rural areas with limited, and most cases dilapidated infrastructure, pose unique challenges such as inadequate manpower, as most employees are unwilling to work in remote areas,” Nalumango said.
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