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November 14, 2018

UNCHR launches funds drive for African refugees amid donor cuts

Newly-arrived refugees run away from a cloud of dust at the Dagahaley refugee camp in Dadaab, near Kenya's border with Somalia in Garissa County, July 16, 2011. /REUTERS
Newly-arrived refugees run away from a cloud of dust at the Dagahaley refugee camp in Dadaab, near Kenya's border with Somalia in Garissa County, July 16, 2011. /REUTERS

UNCHR has launched a campaign to woo donors into its new programme as funds for refugee support in Africa have shrunk.

The funds-drive dubbed LuQuLuQu campaign has been launched in Kenya, Ghana, South Africa Nigeria, Senegal and Cote d' Ivoire.

It is aimed at getting local donors to fill the void left by their western counterparts.

Yvonne Ndege, UNHCR spokesperson in Kenya, told the media on Thursday that the goal is to create a community of supporters and engage Africans in transforming refugees' lives.

"Despite the rising number of refugee across the continent, we have only received 35 per cent of critical funding required to assist refugees in Africa," she said.

"UNHCR seeks to engage Kenyans and other Africans to partner in bringing solutions to the displaced in Africa."

She did not give the exact budget estimates and deficits and the budget for previous donors.

Ndege noted the displacement crisis across the world led to the drop in funding for the continent.

"Most of this country is under domestic financial and political pressure thus reduced humanitarian aid funding. A lot of negative coverage around refugees has also contributed to reduced funding."

 LuQuLuQu, she noted, will ordinary citizens and corporates in redefining Africa's displacement crisis.

More than 20 million people have been displaced in Africa, many being women and children. Kenya is hosting about half a million refugees while Uganda has 1.6 million and Ethiopia 800,000.

Related: Donors pledge $352 million to help South Sudan refugees in Uganda

Also read: Relief for 'hungry' Dadaab, Kakuma refugees after China donates Sh516 million to WFP

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