US$21 million need for refugee integration program – Lo Castro

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US$21 million need for refugee integration program –  Lo Castro

Solwezi, June 12, 2014, ZANIS —-  United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) country representative Laura Lo Castro said the agency requires US$21 million to implement the local integration of refugees program in Zambia.

Ms Lo Castro said the program which will be implemented in two years has so far mobilized about US$4 million that will support government to locally integrate former refugees in new settlements.

She said UNHCR is committed to help government implement socio economic projects in new settlements that will accommodate former refugees who will be locally integrated.

ZANIS reports that Ms Lo Castro said this during commemorations to mark World refugee day at Meheba refugee camp in Solwezi yesterday under the theme;  “50 years of hospitality: offering a new beginning.”

And Home affairs minister Dr Ngosa Simbyakula who was guest of honour reaffirmed government’s commitment to seeking lasting solutions that will sustain the welfare of former refugees in the country.

Dr Simbyakula said government has provided necessary support for local integration, voluntary repatriation and resettlement of former refugees.

He said government has so far facilitated the dignified return of over 250,000 refugees to their countries of origin since 2003.

And former refugees spokesperson, Stanslous Tafa thanked government for accepting to integrate former Angolan refugees but appealed for the gesture to also be extended to Rwandese refugees.