OTTAWA (Halbeeg News) – United Nations has called for resettlement of more Somali refugees in Canada to overcome challenges facing Somali refugees in the Horn of Africa.
Mohamed Abdi Affey, the special envoy of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees for the Horn of Africa has met Canadian lawmakers and senior government officials to discuss on the protracted refugee crisis in the East African region.
In a meeting with Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussein, Affey submitted one of the UNHCR’s proposed solutions asking countries like Canada to accept more Somali refugees, particularly the most vulnerable, such as those with medical emergencies and single mothers.
“The minister has graciously welcomed the idea that as a country Canada continues to lead in this effort and that we are hoping in the years ahead … the numbers will continue to improve,” Mr. Affey said, describing his meeting with the minister this week.
Mr. Affey said more than one million Somali refugees in the area – many of whom have lived in Kenya’s massive Dadaab refugee camp for as long as 27 years – cannot be forgotten as the world is distracted by other crises.
“The Somalia refugee crisis risks being forgotten as a crisis because of global competing attention for other emergency situations in Syria, in Yemen, in South Sudan,” Mr. Affey said in an interview with The Globe and Mail Wednesday. “Part of my role has been to refocus attention and seek solutions.”
Beyond resettling more Somali refugees, Mr. Affey also encouraged the Canadian government to continue investing foreign-aid dollars in the Horn of Africa − Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti – and other surrounding countries hosting Somali refugees, such as Kenya and Yemen. For instance, he said investments in educational opportunities for refugees particularly vulnerable girls – are critical for the stability of the region.
“The youth bulk in the camps … if not addressed, they could be radicalized by dangerous groups in the region, including Al-Shabaab, therefore becoming a threat to international peace and security,” Mr. Affey said.