The UN Under-Secretary and Executive Director of the World Food Programme, Ms. Etharin Cousin, visited Congolese refugees in Nkamira Transit Center in Rubavu District, Western Province on July 20, 2013 in an effort to give them support.
Ms. Etharin arrived in Rwanda for her first time from DRC where she also visited internally displaced refugees in different camps.
She said her visit was meant to witness herself the situation of Congolese refugees so that she may do more advocacy for their welfare to the World.
In a brief conversation with refugees in Nkamira, Ms. Etharin assured them of WFP continued effort to provided needed food and cares until peace is restored in their country for them return home.
“I am responsible for insuring that you get enough food and your children are not malnourished. We care for you and we want to ensure your safety before you return to your country,” Cousin told refugees.
Etharin took this opportunity to commend the Government of Japan for its significant contributions to the assistance that WFP provides to refugees worldwide especially in Rwanda.
The great message expressed by the refugees to the high UN official is to tell the world to engage necessary efforts to bring peace in their country so that they may regain their homes.
They also raised the issue of serious congestion in Nkamira, suggesting the Government of Rwanda and other stakeholders to find a suitable place to their settlement.
Mr. Antoine Ruvebana, The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs reassured them of the Government efforts to ensure that their living conditions are improved.
“The Government is much concerned with the issue of congestion here in Nkamira. Normally this is not the place where you should stay since it was only reserved for reception of Rwandan returnees.
However, when Kigeme camp got full, we transferred some of your neighbours to Nyabiheke camp, which also run out of pace. We kept you here for while as we continue working with partners to find a new place for you, and I assure you that the issued will be sorted out very soon” Ruvebana stated
The ambassador of Japan in Rwanda Mr. OGAWA also reaffirmed the commitment of his country to support the Government of Rwanda to respond to the problems of Congolese refugees as it has done since the arrival of the massive influx in April 2012.
The high UN official was accompanied with the Ambassador of Japan in Rwanda Mr. OGAWA.
Currently, Rwanda host around 70,000 Congolese refugees scattered in four settlements in different corners of the Country and over 9,000 still awaiting in Nkamira Transit Center.