HUNDREDS OF Liberian refugees at the Budumburam Camp who decided to integrate in the Ghanaian society are angry and have indicted the Ghana Refugees Board over the non-payment of their re-integration settlement that has been pegged at four hundred dollars per family head three-long years after the refugees’ status of Liberians at the Budumburam Camp was scrapped.
According to the refugees, attempts to ask for better resettlement packages for almost 4,000 refugees are met with stiff opposition and intimidation of either they stay or leave.
They claim the Government of Ghana and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) have failed to properly integrate them.
Maurice Densiom, a refugee who spoke to the Daily Heritage in an interview, said the integration policy exists in the books and is non-existent on the grounds.
“Life has been very difficult, it has been unbearable for those of us who chose to be integrated in to the Ghanaian society,” he lamented.
He opined that the monies that were doled out by the Dutch and US governments to the Ghana Refugee Board to be given to the refugees have still not dished out to hundreds of those that are in the camps.
“A family head is supposed to be given $400 dollars while the tenants take $200 dollars, almost three years, most refugees have not received their stipend,” Mr. Densiom pointed out.
He said the refugees pay for everything ranging from sanitation, health, water, food to toiletry among others.
According to him, they survive on remittances from friends as they have no jobs. “You are sometimes given $100 by friends in the Diaspora and that is what we live on. Nobody is helping us,” he grieved.
On the successful integration of Liberia refugees in Ghana, the aggrieved refugees pointed out that “when I approached the refugees board, what they told me was that we either stay or leave the country.”
“When we talk about integration, it is a whole package on its own which includes hospital facility and all the benefits, but, when you go to the interview, they intimidate you with deportation.”
Mr. Densiom said their passports that are supposed to be given to them have still been held in custody.
According to him, they are not qualified to work adding that “their wives cannot sell even on the streets.”
He said he lives everything to God and expects the maker to judge them for making their lives unbearable.
Melvina, a mother of three, said she maintains a healthy dose of optimism everyday that their conditions would improve.
She asserted that she cannot return home since the only place she knows is Ghana, and not her country of birth.
She expressed worry over the lack of livelihood empowerment packages for those who opted to stay in Ghana.
Source: Daily Heritage
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