Home » Ghana Praised for Sheltering Thousands of Burkinabe Refugees 

Ghana Praised for Sheltering Thousands of Burkinabe Refugees 

UNHCR Deputy High Commissioner expresses appreciation to Ghana for providing land and protection to asylum seekers from Burkina Faso.

by Motoni Olodun

Ghana has received commendation from the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) for hosting thousands of Burkinabe nationals who have fled their country due to insecurity and violence. The Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees at the UNHCR, Kelly T. Clements, expressed her appreciation to Ghana, especially the border communities, for accepting and living with the asylum seekers who escaped from terrorist attacks in Burkina Faso.

Clements, who led a team to visit some of the host communities and the reception centre and settlement for the asylum seekers in the Upper East Region, also thanked Ghana for providing large acres of land for the refugees at Tarikom in the Bawku West District. She said the UNHCR would provide the necessary support to all institutions and partners to assist the asylum seekers and the host communities.

According to the Ghana Refugee Board, more than 7,000 Burkinabe asylum seekers have been registered and are living in the Bawku zone. Most of them are women and children who have fled from areas such as Bugri, Zouga and Asongo, where suspected jihadists have launched attacks on civilians and security forces. The Executive Secretary of the board, Tetteh Padi, said the situation at the reception centre and settlement had improved significantly and urged the asylum seekers to move from the communities to the settlement for their safety and welfare.

The influx of Burkinabe refugees to Ghana is part of a larger regional crisis that has displaced millions of people in the Sahel region. According to the UNHCR, there are more than 3.5 million internally displaced persons and over 850,000 refugees in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger as of March 2023. The agency has appealed for more funding and humanitarian assistance to address the needs of the affected populations and the host countries.

Ghana has a long history of hosting refugees from neighbouring countries, such as Togo, Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire. The country is a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention and the 1969 OAU Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa. Ghana has also adopted a national refugee law and policy that provides legal and social protection to refugees and asylum seekers.

The UNHCR and its partners have commended Ghana for its generosity and hospitality towards refugees and asylum seekers and have pledged to continue working with the government and the local authorities to ensure the dignity and well-being of the displaced persons. The agency has also called for more international solidarity and support to address the root causes of the displacement and to find durable solutions for the refugees.

Source: Business Ghana

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