BY JAIROS SAUNYAMA
CLOSE to 15 000 refugees at Tongogara Refugee Camp (TRC) in Chipinge this week received a major boost after the World Food Programme (WFP) gave them food.
The distribution exercise, that is being implemented by WFP partners Terres Des Hommes (TDH) and World Vision Zimbabwe, is being funded by the United States Agency for International Development and is expected to benefit about 14 910 refugees.
TRC administrator Johanne Mhlanga hailed the donation, saying it was a timely intervention.
“As government, we are implementing the partnership approach to refugees’ protection, it is our belief that the government cannot do it alone, the government has other pressing commitments to deal with,” Mhlanga said.
“So at the end of the day, we found it prudent as a government to create an enabling environment for the operations of humanitarian and development partners.
“We find it prudent to partner with organisations like WFP, UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) and TDH in providing food assistance to the refugee community. We believe that food assistance is part of social safety nets to enhance the welfare of refugees at TRC.
“Over the years, we realised that with the assistance of WFP, we have been able to provide food with consistency and predictability and that has enhanced the quality of life for our refugees,” he said.
The WFP began providing food assistance to TRC in January 2015 when the population reached 5 000.
In January 2016, WFP shifted to providing cash-based transfers before reintroducing the in-kind programme this year due to challenges faced in accessing sufficient bond notes. TRC is home to thousands of refugees from the Great Lakes Region that includes countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia and Somalia, among others.
Most of the refugees fled their countries due to conflicts.
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