UNHCR, OPM appeals to refugee community to invest in agriculture.

todayMarch 21, 2023

By Inyakuni Kennedy


United Nations high commission of refugees (UNHCR) and other refugee agencies in obongi district have called on obongi local government through the land lords to offer more for refugees to practice agriculture as a means to survive amidst the challenges of economic hardships. The appeal for more land for refugees is as a result of continued reduction of food ratio but also lack of donations to support refugee operations in Africa by international communities due to the global economic hardships course by covid-19.

Mr. Titus Jogo, the refugee desk officer from the office of the prime minister for obongi and Adjumani districts, commented the local population for accepting to host refugees’ amidst various challenges associated with hosting refugees. According to Jogo, donor funds to support refugee operations have reduced. He said as OPM and other refugee agencies their emphasis is on empowering them on livelihood activities so that they don’t solely depend on UNHRC.
Mr. Titus notes that the refugees are here to stay basing on the current of state of security from their home county south Sudan. “It’s therefore our appeal on behave of refugees to give us more agricultural land  which is near to the refugee settlement areas so that we can encourage all the refugees to engage themselves in livelihood activities,” he remarked.

Mr.  Titus Jogo, Refugee Desk Officer

Mr. Dhanayaya Bhattarai the head of UNHCR obongi sub office speaking at a function to commemorate sanitation week held last week in Gimara sub county obongi district noted that prioritizing livelihood activities for refugees is the best way to make them survive. He said as UNHCR and partners are working together to course change in the lives of the refugees. “If we can give refugees something like skills for them to develop self-reliance, it will have a great impact on them. We all know refugee problems are temporarily, and they need to be economic independent. If we look at the population they are majorly in agriculture,” Mr. Bhattarai said.  Mr. Battarai asked the district local government to offer more land for agriculture. “If the refugees gets more land for agriculture, they will not only support themselves but also contribute to the growth and development economy of obongi district”, he adds.
According to the reports UNHCR, obongi district host more female refugees as compared to the male counterparts, and many are willy to engage in agriculture to better their lives in the campus.

Obongi District has a population of 50,000 (2014 census) and is home to Palorinya Settlement with a registered refugee population of 122,025 as of 28 February 2022. Mr. Olema Mudashir Noor, the senior assistant in the office of chief administrative office (CAO) obongi district applauded the UNHCR and other partners for contributing towards the development of obongi district. Olema argued that without refugee partners’ obongi district would have not meant the current state of development. He has appealed for continuous collaboration and coordination between partners and the district local government to achieve the mission and vision statement of the district. Olema also assured the UNHCR, OPM and other partners of continued support of district local government towards refugee operations in the district.
Similarly, hajji Habib Buga Khemis the chairperson obongi district council thanked the office of the Prime Minister (OPM) and UNHCR for the support accorded to the persons of concerns.
He has plugged a political support to ensure the wellbeing of refugees and host community in the district are look into. “The refugee community are here, host community are also here, our support as local government is ensure we support both communities to realize development”, LC V chairperson said.
The inclusion of refugees in the District Development Plans marks a watershed in the humanitarian-development nexus, and provides stakeholders with a structure to transition towards resilience building interventions that empower refugees and host communities to participate actively in economic and social development.

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