UN urges donor community to support Tanzania’s ongoing bid to host refugees.



The UN has appealed to the international donor community to support what it described as ‘incredible contributions’ made by Tanzania over many decades in hosting hundreds of thousands of refugees and to step up aid to the country.
 
The appeal was issued yesterday by the UN Resident Coordinator in Tanzania, Alvaro Rodriguez during his inspection visit of various UN agencies backed projects in Kigoma Region including the Nyarugusu refugee camp, the third largest in the world.
 
While there, he met the Regional Commissioner, Lt. Col. (Rtd) Issa Machibya and his team and was accompanied by Maulidah Hassan of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, UNFPA Representative, Dr Natalia Kanem, ILO Officer Magnus Minja, a UNHCR officer, Zenobia Mushi and the UN Communications Specialist, Hoyce Temu.
 
He acknowledged that the refugees as well as the local government require additional support and as such, he appealed for continued and increased support to the country.
 
“We appeal to the international donor community to remember the incredible contributions that Tanzania has made and right now, it is doing it again,” he said noting that Tanzania has already provided citizenship to many Burundians a move he described as ‘an extraordinary gesture by the government.’ 
 
The Nyarugusu camp is under the leadership and coordination of UNHCR and houses about 150,000 refugees, a combination of Congolese and Burundians. 
 
“The government of Tanzania has very generously provided land for three other refugee camps to decongest Nyarugusu and we want those camps to be fully functional,” the envoy went on to note.
 
“They need water facilities, they need health centers, they need schools, and they need proper shelter particularly this time that the rainy season has started,” he said emphasising increased support by the donor community.
 
On her part, UNFPA Representative, Dr Natalia Kanem highlighted achievement of women in the region and at the refugee camp specifically.
 
“I’m pleased to see that young women are taking leadership in their communities, I have met women who have dedicated their life and energy to transmitting what they know to the people of Kigoma,” she said.
 
“It is very good to know that women have a voice and have chosen to work in Kigoma and are developing great products, creating great opportunities and are making sure that people in their communities have hope in the future,” Dr Kanem added.
 
Commenting, UNHCR representative Zenobia Mushi, said the organ is dedicated to supporting the refugees in Tanzania and will continue to partner with central and local government to ensure the needs of refugees are met.
 
Kigoma’s Regional Commissioner, Lt. Col. (Rtd) Issa Machibya thanked the United Nations saying; “we are grateful for the work that the United Nations is doing in Kigoma and we will continue working in a spirit of partnership to ensure that together, we end poverty and end inequalities as we develop Kigoma’s economy.”
 
Earlier while visiting the ILO supported Youth Entrepreneurship Project, the UN Resident Coordinator in Tanzania, Alvaro Rodriguez said; “we all know that in Tanzania we have many young men and women that are educated but do not have jobs.  Entrepreneurship is something that can be learnt and mentoring enhances the opportunities for young people to join the labour force for employment or to self-employ.”
 
“We know that through the activities that ILO has supported at the community level with the guidance of the local government, many young people are starting businesses on their own or with other community members,” the envoy said. 
 
He cited a soap making facility under the Youth Entrepreneurship Project as a notable example of how the project is creating employment.
 
“We see the project beneficiaries increasing their incomes, being able to send their children to school, attend regularly health centers and improve their nutrition. In short, they have been able to address so many development challenges that poor families face in Kigoma,” he said. 
 
The UN Resident Coordinator on behalf of the UN thanked the government for their commitment to work jointly with UN agencies and with the people of Kigoma for sustainable development. 
 
He also commended the government and communities in the region for taking ownership and ensuring sustainability of UN supported projects.
 
“It is important to note that it is a result of donor support through the UN that we have succeeded to change the lives of men and women in Kigoma,” he said.
 
“As we end the MDGs and move on to the Sustainable Development Goals, we want these partnerships to strengthen further,” urged the diplomat.
 
In Kigoma various UN agencies have been working together in both development and the humanitarian interventions, these include UNHCR, WHO, UNFPA, ILO, UNICEF, IOM, WFP, and UNDP.
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN
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