#National News

Gambia commemorates World Refugee Day

Jun 28, 2021, 12:36 PM | Article By: Njie Baldeh

Gambia recently joined the rest of the world to commemorate World Refugees Day.

This year’s event was held at Refugee Soforai in Sibanor, Foni, and was graced by the Ministers of the Interior, Basic and Secondary Education, Agriculture as well as the United Nations and diplomatic heads in The Gambia. It was also witnessed by representatives of refugee population residing in both rural and urban areas.

The event was facilitated by Gambia Food and Nutrition Association (GAFNA). The commemoration also marked the inauguration of two important projects that are located in Manyina and Sibanor villages, hosting poultry processing and preservation plants and a solar reticulation water system.

“The theme of this year’s refugee day was “Together we can achieve, together we can learn.”

Lamin Sanneh, Governor of West Coast Region said the day marks a remarkable event in Foni Sibanor, adding that the day is a day of reflection as well as created to build emphasis on lives of refugees to recognise their resilience in order to build and bring together peace among people.

Yusufa L. Gomez, executive director Gambia Food and Nutrition Association (GAFNA) said his office has been in partnership with UNHCR for more than a decade, and has since implemented projects geared towards the welfare of refugees residing in 81 villages in Foni, part of Kombo East of West Coast Region and in the Greater Banjul Area of The Gambia.

According to Gomez, the commemoration demonstrates the strong bond of partnership and support that exists between UNHCR and other development partners in their drive to make refugees feel at home since their arrival in The Gambia.

Monique Ekoko, UNHCR representative in the sub region said: “today, we are here to witness millions who have fled their homes running for their lives.” She added that people would continue to flee from human right violations. According to her, the world global refugees report indicates 79.5 million people who have fled their homes.

She expressed the office’s readiness to collaborate with partners to reach local integration and improve lives and peaceful co-existence within communities.

Sulayman Kujabi, Commissioner of Immigration for West Coast Region said The Gambia Immigration Department (GID) is in solidarity with refugees on the day in celebrating their courage, wisdom, resilience and diversities. He noted that as a government security institute responsible for immigration and security management, they directly oversee the work of the Gambia Commission for Refugees by providing leadership and advice. He said this has strengthened the capacity of GID officers and other sister security forces in the area of asylum procedures.

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