Inclusivity and support for refugees in the country can help in empowerment and achievement of national goals, a Terre des Hommes (TDH) Italy in Zimbabwe representative has said.

TDH Italy is a non-governmental organisation carrying out humanitarian relief and development cooperation projects in Sub-Saharan and Austral Africa, the Middle East, South-East Asia and Latin America.

In a statement to commemorate World Refugee Day, the organization’s advocacy and communications officer Tanaka Aggrey Chitsa said refugees could play a pivotal role towards the attainment of Zimbabwe’s ambitions.

“Refugees have shown us that they are resilient and all they need is support and hope away from home (so) through the World Refugee Day, let us be reminded that inclusiveness is key to achieving an empowered society,” Chitsa said.

“It is therefore important to understand that if given a chance, refugees can play a positive role towards the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Africa’s Agenda 2063 and indeed Zimbabwe’s Vision 2030 as the case of refugees at Tongogara Refugee Camp (in Chipinge).”

Currently, Zimbabwe has a population of more than 15 000 refugees and asylum seekers from different nationalities mainly from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Mozambique, Burundi and Rwanda. 

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“In partnership with the World Food Programme (WFP) and UNHCR, TDH-Italy provides food and cash assistance to refugees and asylum seekers so that they meet their dietary needs,” said Chitsa.

“Step by step and walking side by side with refugees, Terre des Hommes Italy in Zimbabwe will continue advocating and lobbying for the inclusion of refugees especially children and youth in various developmental plans, strategies and polices at national level, regional level and indeed at the global level.”

Running under the theme “Hope away from Home, A world where refugees are always included” this year’s celebrations come at a time refugees all over the world have endured many challenges including COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and the rising cost of living among others.