Japan donates US$370k towards public health access for refugees, asylum-seekers


By Silence Mugadzaweta
At least 14 000 refugees and asylum seekers at Tongogara refugee camp in Chipinge, Manicaland are set to benefit from a US$370 000 donation by the Japanese government to improve their access to basic health services.

The funds will be disbursed through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and will help support refugees who are still reeling from the devastating effects of COVID-19.

“The support from Japan will assist at least 14,894 refugees and asylum-seekers at Tongogara Refugee Camp as well as 3,000 host community members to ensure that they have access to public health services, safe water, sanitation and hygiene facilities, including toilets, bathroom facilities and hygiene promotion. Access to public health services will include access to primary, secondary, and tertiary care, as well as HIV and reproductive health care and mental health care,” the Japanese government said in a joint statement with UNHCR.

Japan ambassador of to Zimbabwe Satoshi Tanaka added: “One of the priority areas for Japan’s development cooperation with Zimbabwe is support to ensure human security of vulnerable people, which includes refugees. Given the scarcity of resources available for refugees, I hope that this assistance will go a long way towards addressing their basic health and WASH needs.”

Zimbabwe is home to more than 22,400 refugees and asylum-seekers. Most of the refugees live in the Tongogara Refugee Camp in Chipinge District, Manicaland Province, while a small population live in urban areas.

Most refugees are from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Mozambique, Burundi and Rwanda.