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Rwanda, UNHCR launch joint verification of Refugees resident in country

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Kigali: The Government of Rwanda through the Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugees (MIDIMAR), the National Identification Agency (NIDA), and the  Rwanda Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration  together with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR)  will launch  on 9th February, 2018 at OASIS OF PEACE (MAISON SHALOM) in Kicukiro District at 10AM  a joint verification exercise of refugees and asylum seekers residing in Rwanda for the purpose of updating information  and verifying their physical presence in the country through biometric data.

This  will  positively  impact  refugees  by  giving  them  greater  access  to  identity documents  which  will facilitate their ability to access Government services, employability and to move more freely in the country and abroad.

Rwanda  has  committed  in  last  year's  Leaders'  Summit  on  Refugees  convened  by  then  United  State President Obama to integrate refugees in the Government health insurance (urban refugees), education, documentation  services and  promotion  of  inclusion  of  refugees  through  the  joint  Rwanda-  UNHCR livelihoods  strategy.  By  sharing  of  refugee  data,  the  Government  and UNHCR  can  plan  properly  for  this integration.

Registration  of  refugees  and asylum-seekers  in  Rwanda  is a  joint  activity  between  the  Government  and UNHCR. Both parties adjudicate registration cases, make joint decisions on eligibility for registration and collect individualized basic bio-data together.

Updated information and documentation will allow for better protection and assistance to refugees and asylum-seekers  in  Rwanda,  but  also  will  contribute  to  better  planning  by  the  Government,  UNHCR  and relevant stakeholders dealing with refugees.

In May of 2017, the Government of Rwanda and UNHCR signed an agreement governing sharing of data on identity of refugees in Rwanda, which has set the stage for the joint verification exercise in Rwanda.

The verification exercise is scheduled to start with urban refugees in Kigali and Huye before moving to the six refugee camps. UNHCR welcomes this progressive move by the Government which will lead to better refugee management, protection and assistance. (End)


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