The Hon. Deputy Minister for the Interior, Mr. Henry Quartey, today joined the people of Ampain in the Ellembelle District of the Western Region to commemorate World Refugee Day.
The theme for the celebration, “Taking a step with Refugees” . A time to take stock of the actions for the provision of protection, assistance and core throughout their stay outside their countries of origin and how to facilitate the end of their predicament.
In his keynote address, Hon. Deputy Minister for the Interior, Mr Henry Quartey, emphasized on the fact that countries within the sub-Region must work together to ensure that the main causes of conflicts are eliminated.
He stated that, due to the relative peace and political stability in the West Africa sub-Region coupled with recent series of political turbulence, Ghana has been and remains the preferred choice of destination for people displaced by internecine conflicts and civil unrest in the sub-Region and beyond.
The Deputy Minister assured Refugees living in Ghana of the operational policy framework on privileges available to all citizens in terms of a supportive enabling environment and access to essential services are extended to all asylum seekers and refugees in the country.
“Refugees have a choice of residential location, free movement and establishing means of livelihood, assistance as well as acquiring travel documents” he said.
Hon. Quartey reiterated government’s commitment to create livelihood opportunities at refugee camps and within host communities in line with the Global Compact on Refugees and will work together with all stakeholders to create the enabling environment.
The Ghana Refugee Board and the UNHCR Ghana are working together to seek international collaboration, partnerships and assistance to create expanded employment and business opportunities for the residually displaced and their host and boost local economic development and service delivery in the hosting communities and region.
The Deputy Minister stated that, government through the Ministry of the Interior engages in various tripartite dialogues with the authorities of the countries of origin to discuss the security, safety and welfare of refugees while residing in Ghana and when they voluntarily return home.
The Hon. Deputy Minister used the occasion to caution Refugees and asylum seekers to respect the laws of the country.
“Everyone irrespective of status is subject to the laws of Ghana and will be dealt with if they fall foul of the law” he said.
He entreated all Refugees to help the security agencies by providing the needed information on all suspicious people in their midst to help keep Ghana safe.
Over the years since the influx of Refugees and asylum seekers from the West Africa sub-region, the Ghana government has taken strident measures to ensure critical services for protection, care and assistance are made available to those who need and require them.
Ghana has handled over sixty thousand (60,000) Refugees in the past. Meanwhile Ghana is hosting approximately 13,500 Refugees from over 36 countries across the globe, many of whom are in protracted situations.
Ghana alone houses about a third of the total refugees population in four (4) camps with the others living in urban and semi-rural areas.
Tobinco Pharmaceuticals Ltd. made a special donation of assorted drugs, toiletries, second hand clothing etc. to the Health Centre and Refugees of the Ampain Camp to grace the occasion.