Malawi commemorates International Refugee Day
On Monday, Malawi Red Cross Society MRCS participated in the commemoration of the World Refugee Day for 2016. Events marking the commemoration took place at Dzaleka Refugee camp in Dowa District.
Muhammad Ali, a representative of the refugees thanked Malawi government for allowing and accommodating the refugees despite the economic hardships the country is facing at the moment. Ali however said that there are many challenges at the camp ranging from congestion, insufficient water, water, food and blankets among others.
In 1991 when the camp opened, it was designed to accommodate 5,000 refugees, but to date the same space accommodates over 25,000 refugees with the majority from Congo. Others are from Lwanda, Burundi Ethiopia and Somalia.
UNHCR country representative Madam Monique Ekoko commended the government of Malawi for hosting the the refugees. She said that the refugees that are in Malawi did not choose to be refugees. “Anyone can be a refugee anytime.” Ekoko added. She applauded Malawians for the peace and tolerance demonstrated towards the Refugees.
The Minister of Information Communication and Civic Education who presided over the event Honorable Mrs. Patricia Kaliati MP, advised the refugees to strictly follow the laws of Malawi while in the camp. She assured the gathering and the refugees that Malawi government is committed to host refugees in line with the 1951 United Nations Convention, the 1969 OAU Protocol and the Malawi Refugee Act of 1989. Kaliati urged the UNHCR and its Partners to fully provide the needs of the refugees in line with the UN convention.
The ceremony which was highly patronized was cerebrated under the theme “Together for Peace, Tolerance and Prosperity. MRCS was represented by the Director of Programs and Development Mr. Hastings Kandaya.