Government appeals for food assistance to support refugees

Minister of Homeland Security Ken Zikhale Ng'oma

Government of Malawi through the Ministry of Homeland Security has appealed to donors to provide food for refugees and asylum seekers in the country.

Minister of Homeland Security Ken Zikhale Ng’oma made the appeal during Press Briefing on updates on refugee relocation which took place on Wednesday in Lilongwe.

Ng’oma said the call has come following the reduction of the food assistance towards refugees by World Food Programme (WFP).

“I would like to make it clear that WFP has reduced the supply of food to support refugees,” he said.

The minister called for donors to provide resources to support government to continue provision of food to refugees.

According to information, Malawi will no longer have food to feed refugees once they exhaust the available food by 31 December this year.

On repatriation, the Minister reported that government has so far repatriated 98 refugees and the exercise is ongoing.

The Minister also indicated that government has secured over 330 hectares of land with good road network and water sources at Kanyirikizi in Chitipa district.

“We have finally secured land for new refugee camp in Chitipa where the only challenges is lack of education and health services which government is working on,” said Ng’oma.

He also warned refugees and asylum seekers who returned and hiding that his Ministry with catch them where they are staying because they have detailed information about them.

Ng’oma further advised them to voluntarily return to the camp to avoid facing forced relocation and repatriation.

The Minister also responded to a question from one of the journalists who wanted to know what his Ministry is doing on the alleged individuals who stole money from a shop owned by a refugee in Salima district.

In his response, he said the issue is under the office of Inspector General (IG) of Police.

Ministry of Homeland Security has since reported that the forced relocation and repatriation of refugees and asylum seekers have assisted the country to improve on security and balance of payment and to start addressing forex shortage by dealing with smuggling.