The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, (UNHCR) in collaboration with the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons have quarantined refugees who have shown symptoms of COVID-19.
The action of the groups according to DAILY POST findings is to prevent the spread of the global pandemic in the refugee settlements at Adagom, and Ukende/Akpakpanga in Ogoja local government area of Cross River State.
Already, the agencies have commenced the mapping out of an isolation centre in Adagom settlement as the COVID-19 disease attacks the refugee population.
The UNHCR head of sub-office Ogoja, Mr. Mulugeta Zewdie while leading other agencies to distribute palliatives to the refugees said Cross River State is playing host to over seventy-six thousand Cameroonian refugees.
He regretted the rampaging effect of COVID-19 on the lives and livelihoods of the global population and assured that apart from the non- food supplies, refugees in Ogoja were also given food and cash interventions to alleviate their hardship.
Zewdie said that the relevant agencies have engaged in regular sensitization of the refugee population for them to understand the danger posed by COVID-19 and measures they must adopt to avoid the spread of the pandemic to the refugee community.
“The agency has also acquired about a hundred thousand hectares of arable land with the support of the Ogoja local government authority to encourage the refugee population to venture into farming to augment their food supply and enhance their nutrition” he stated.
Also speaking, the National Commissioner for Refugees, Migrants And Internally Displaced Persons, Abuja said the items were meant to promote hygiene and the health of the refugees especially at this challenging period of COVID-19 global emergency.
She hinted that about 22, 000 beneficiaries were captured in this phase of the exercise and commended the UNHCR for the milestones recorded so far in providing for the welfare of the refugees.
A representative of the Head of Local Government Administration, HOLGA, Ogoja Mr. Benji Bessong, who is also the Community Development Officer for the area said the council was partnering with the UNHCR and other relevant humanitarian agencies to cater for the refugees in Ogoja, especially with the outbreak of COVID _19.
Some of the refugees who spoke with newsmen expressed delight at the items and appealed for more welfare packages to alleviate their hardship and also called for greater sensitization and regular education of the refugee population on the pandemic to guide against the spread.