#National News

UNHCR, partners commemorate World Refugee Day

Jun 30, 2020, 12:36 PM | Article By: Cherno Omar Bobb

United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), in partnership with The Gambia Food and Nutrition Association (GAFNA) and The Gambia Commission for Refugees (GCR) and the Association of Refugees in both rural and urban areas have commemorated World Refugees Day 2020 at GAFNA.

This year’s commemoration was conducted in a low key event due to Covid-19 pandemic and in observance of social distance, with the official ceremony marked with speeches and poems by refugee students.  The theme for this year’s commemoration was “Everyone Counts / Each Count."

Chairman of GAFNA board of directors, Dr Reuben L. Mboge said their efforts to support refugees in The Gambia are to enhance and develop their wellbeing.

Yusufa J. Gomez, Executive Director of GAFNA said they have been working with partners for over two decades in implementing interventions geared toward the welfare of refugees residing in 81 villages in Foni, West Coast Region and in the Greater Banjul Area.

He said each year, World Refugees Day is globally commemorated on June 20, describing the day as a special moment for refugees, IDPs, and stateless people to show solidarity with their host government and communities, as they continue to reside outside of their countries of origin, missing their other family members and loved ones.

According to Mr Gomez, the commemoration of the World Refugees Day demonstrates the strong bond of partnership and support that exist between UNHCR and other development partners in the drive to make refugees residing here to feel at home since their arrival.

He thanked the host communities both in the rural and urban areas and by extension the Government of The Gambia for creating the conducive environment where their refugee brothers and sisters continue to live and enjoy the peace and hospitality of the country.

Louis Mendy, Commissioner of Gambia Commission for Refugees (GCR), described this year’s theme as very key and central to refugee protection and humanitarian work as well as relevant today as the whole world is engulfed in a global health pandemic (Covid-19).

He said this year's celebration is a reminder to all relevant stakeholders that in whatever one does in terms of response during a pandemic or crisis situation, each and every one counts.

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