The Malawi government has reopened a former refugee camp in order to give the rising number of refugees a better home.
Government announced last Friday the decision to reopen Luwani refugee camp which will be the new home for refugees who are currently at Kapise camp in Mwanza.
United Nations (UN) refugee agency, UNHCR, has since welcomed the reopening of the former refugee camp saying it will “help cope with the rising numbers of people fleeing Mozambique.”
“Refugees will have better facilities and services there, including health, education, water and protection. And, importantly, it will be safer,” said UNHCR spokesperson Leo Dobbs
Located some 65 kilometres away from Malawi’s borders with Mozambique, Luwani camp previously hosted Mozambican refugees during the 1977-1992 civil war and was finally closed in 2007.
The refugee agency says they are making preparations to move to the new home as daily arrival rates keep growing.
According to the United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR, 230 refugees are arriving in the country every day in Kapise.
So far, UNHCR staff and government workers have registered 9,600 refugees, but the total is almost 11,500 when they include those waiting to be registered.
The UNHCR spokesperson expressed gratitude for Malawi’s “generosity in hosting so many people” but he underlined the importance of “keeping doors open to people fleeing danger.”
The refugee agency however says lack funds remains a problem and it now needs US$1.8 million to meet immediate needs of the refugees.
Mozambicans are fleeing deadly attacks on their villages following clashes between Government forces and RENAMO, the main opposition group, which wants to take control of six Northern provinces.