Stop seeking for food support, protect and empower your citizens – UNHCR

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The primary duty of a democratic government where the constitution is the grundnorm is to protect its citizens, protect lives and properties and cater for the vulnerable in the society.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), on Wednesday disclosed that it would henceforth stop the continuation of providing refugees in Nigeria with financial assistance.

The disclosure was made by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)’s new Representative to Nigeria and Economic Communities of West Africa (ECOWAS) region, Mr Antonio Canhandula, in Lagos city, Nigeria while converse and interacting with some refugees from Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, Sudan, Mali and Guinea.

Mr Antonio Canhandula, in Lagos city asserted as follows, that what vulnerable refugees in Nigeria need is protection, and not continuous assistance from the federal government of Nigerian and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

“I am in Lagos as part of my maiden visit to our Lagos Office, for me to discuss with you refugees on how to provide solutions to your challenges.

“We really want you to know that being a refugee is not a satisfactory situation. As refugees, what you need is protection and not continuous assistance.

“We cannot continue to discuss how to give you money for food, accommodation and children’s education.

“You all have to get out of the mentality of continuously getting financial support from United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Our support is ineffective.”

At the interacting section it was further disclosed that the UNHCR would discuss with the Nigerian Government and refugees host community leaders on to the need to accept enterprising and hard working refugees in the country.

“We now really need to know your plans to leave the life of being a refugee, to that of meaningfully engaging yourselves,’’ Canhandula asserted at the interacting section.

Mr Didier Goursam, a refugee from DR. Chad, thanked the federal government of Nigerian and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR),  for unrelenting in supporting refugees, that many of the refugees had been depending on financial assistance.

Didier Goursam stated that some of the refugees were often discriminated against by their host communities and neighboring communities, whenever they tried to get jobs they refugees are competent, fit and proper to apply for.

Didier further reiterates that some of the refugees are not lazy and ready to work and that despite the Nigerian government and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR),  assistance, some of the refugees were still unable adequately cater and feed themselves, afford good accommodation and to send their children to good and quality schools and pay their tuition.

That United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), was prepared to empower, train, engage and build capacities of enterprising and hardworking refugees to become self-employed, and be able to cater for their personal and family needs rather than waiting for tranches of financial assistance from the government.

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