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UNHCR Reaffirms Pledge To Work With Development Partners On Refugees, IDPs


(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has reiterated its commitment to work with other development partners in tackling the problem of refugees and the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

UNHCR Assistant High Commissioner for Operations, Raouf Mazou made the pledge when he led a team on a joint mission with representatives of African Development Bank (AfDB) to the Central African Republic (CAR).

The delegation of both organizations visited CAR to explore the potential of joint initiatives for durable solutions to sustain the returns of refugees and internally displaced people.

Director of the Transition States Coordination Office at the AfDB, Yero Baldeh, Dr. Yvette Glele-Ahanhanzo, Director of Portfolio Monitoring and Service Delivery and Country Manager, Mamady Souare and their teams, visited Bria, 580 kilometers north of Bangui.

During the height of the armed conflicts, more than 50,000 people fled the capital city to seek refuge in Bria, near the United Nations military camp. Today, approximately 35,000 natives from Bria are still hoping to return home. The joint visit took place from 21-25 February 2023.

The representatives met with national authorities and development partners working alongside the people of the CAR to consolidate progress toward a lasting peace and inclusive socioeconomic recovery. Furthermore, the two organizations committed to deepening the partnerships through a more systematic collaboration in select targeted countries.

Mazou said the internally displaced persons they met in Bria made very clear their desire to return to their homes as the security conditions continue to improve.

“We encourage the national authorities to continue restoring security in the country, and we are eager to continue working with development partners such as the AfDB to help returnees rebuild their communities”, he said.

Meanwhile, the AfDB’s third Strategy for Addressing Fragility and Building Resilience in Africa (2022-2026), puts an emphasis on conflict prevention and inclusive post-conflict reconstruction and development. This includes empowering forcibly displaced and host communities such as in the Central Africa region and finding regional solutions.

Notably, the bank’s active portfolio of over $450 million in CAR includes agriculture, transport, governance and social sector projects to support the government’s development agenda.

Baldeh who led the AfDB team said the joint visit to Bria underlined the urgent need for strong collaboration amongst humanitarian and development partners.

“This is very much aligned with Dr. Adesina’s vision for advancing peace and development in fragile contexts, such as here in CAR. Hence, we aim to scale up and accelerate our support to the poorest and most vulnerable, especially displaced youth and women, returnees and host communities”, he added.

The two organizations committed to further deepen their partnerships through a more systematic collaboration in select targeted countries and regions.

This, according to a statement by the AfDB, includes collaboration in other forced displacement hotspots on the African continent and implementation of the Yaoundé Declaration and the CAR Solutions Support Platform.


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