Naana Eyiah (right), Deputy Minister for the Interior, speaking at the 2024 World Refugee Day celebration in Accra. Picture: ELVIS NII NOI DOWUONA
Naana Eyiah (right), Deputy Minister for the Interior, speaking at the 2024 World Refugee Day celebration in Accra. Picture: ELVIS NII NOI DOWUONA

Commemoration of World Refugee Day: Private sector entreated to support refugees

This year’s World Refugee Day was yesterday commemorated in Accra with an appeal to the private sector to extend support to refugees in the country.


The Deputy Minister for the Interior, Naana Eyiah, said although the state was doing its part, there was still much needed to support refugees to live in dignity. “None of us desires such a situation, so once again, I encourage the private sector to stand in solidarity with refugees,” she added.

The day, which was on the theme: “Solidarity with refugees," was designated by the UN to honour refugees around the globe. It falls on June 20 each year and is used to celebrate the strength and courage of people who have been forced to flee their home countries to escape conflict or persecution. 

Contribution of refugees

Mrs Eyiah said the government recognised the potential of refugees, as well as contributions they made towards building societies. She said in honouring its commitments under the UN and other refugee protocols, the government ensured that refugees had access to basic social services in the country.

For instance, the deputy minister said refugees had been included in the free basic education and free senior high school policy in order that they were not left behind in the nation’s development trajectory.

She said the government was also mindful of the need to maintain security along the country’s borders.  To this end, Mrs Eyiah said security had been beefed up at border and refugee-hosting areas to ensure that both refugees and citizens lived in safety and dignity.


The Executive-Secretary of the Ghana Refugee Board, Tetteh Padi, said the country was host to more than 12,200 registered refugees and asylum seekers from 41 different countries.

He said there were still many refugees from Burkina Faso currently living in the Upper East and Upper West regions who were yet to be registered. “These asylum seekers have said that all they want is to use their skills to earn a living, rather than be given handouts; they told us this as soon as they arrived.

“This takes me back to my earlier assertion that refugees need help to be independent, hence the relevance of the theme for this year's event,” Mr Padi said. He further said that it was in the interest of all to assist refugees to be independent, adding that “we all stand to benefit from the skills that refugees possess”.

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