UNHCR commends South Sudan as first refugees receive COVID-19 vaccination

The first refugee receives Covid-19 jab in South Sudan | Photo: UNHCR

Thessherald—Refugees in South Sudan are receiving COVID-19 jabs during the rollout of the country’s national vaccination campaign, joining Ethiopia, Rwanda, Sudan and Uganda in including refugees in their COVID-19 vaccination plan in the East African Region. Today, 13 people, among them 10 refugees from the Gorom Refugee Settlement located some 20km outside of Juba and three members of the host community including one health worker visited the Buluk Police Hospital for their vaccine.

For vulnerable refugees, their inclusion in the national vaccination campaign could not have come soon enough, “I came to receive my first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, I feel very fine, there is no pain and the process is very simple,” shared Ojullu Ochan Ochan, a refugee from Ethiopia. “I encourage all refugees in South Sudan and the region including the host community to take the vaccine to protect themselves and their families” he added.

Health workers are among the group to receive the jab in line with the national vaccination plan of prioritizing frontline workers in the country. “I came today to take my COVID-19 vaccine in order to share my experience with others and bring home the message that I am doing very well and to encourage others to take the vaccine to protect themselves, their families and their communities,” explained Dut Yual Agoth, a volunteer health worker from the host community with UNHCR partner ACROSS.

Since the start of the pandemic, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, in collaboration with its partners and the government, has scaled up its COVID-19 response activities to keep refugees, internally displaced people, returnees as well as the communities hosting them safe across South Sudan. Life-saving support such as boosting water and sanitation services, increasing access to healthcare including the renovation of health facilities and provision of ongoing regular services including nutrition programmes continued despite the pandemic.

The organization also provided three ambulances to state authorities, installed six COVID-19 testing machines in refugee settings in Maban, Jamjang, Makpandu, and in Yei, as well as airlifted various medical items including oxygen concentrators, portable ventilators, emergency supplies including soap. UNHCR also established two intensive care units in Maban and in Pariang, and COVID-19 isolation units in all refugee camps. Personal protective equipment such as masks, gloves, gowns, and sanitizers continue to be supplied to health facilities that are serving the forcibly displaced families across the country.

The roll-out of the national vaccination campaign has also heralded good news for students. Schools have reopened following more than one year of closure. Since March of 2020, UNHCR and education partners have supported remote learning for refugee and host community students, however in-class attendance and the joy of studying alongside friends everyday has been greatly missed. To support the reopening of in-person learning this May, UNHCR also made improvements to water and sanitation facilities in primary and secondary schools.

“Today, I wish to commend South Sudan for the continued generosity to include refugees as well as internally displaced people in the national preparedness and response plans since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said UNHCR’s Representative, Arafat Jamal. “Safeguarding refugee health also protects the health of their host communities and wider society, and UNHCR is working with the Ministry of Health, the World Health Organisation, UNICEF and partners to support the roll-out in all refugee hosting locations.”

UNHCR participates in the National COVID-19 Steering Committee, headed by the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization, and in its various technical working groups, headed by other partners in implementing the national COVID-19 preparedness and response plan including among forcibly displaced populations.

UNHCR reiterates that refugees, internally displaced and stateless people and their local host communities must be included on an equal footing with citizens in national responses to the pandemic, including public health access, vaccines, and social safety nets, and the South Sudan government has shown this.

Progress and momentum as National Consultations on Solutions Initiative get underway in South Sudan

The IGAD Chair, the IGAD secretary and the UNHCR Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa at the high-level meeting in Khartoum, Sudan | Photo: UNHCR

Press Statement

Juba – The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), UNHCR, the Refugee Agency and partners, applaud progress toward lasting solutions for forcibly displaced persons as national consultations took place last week in Juba, South Sudan.

The two day event successfully marked another milestone for South Sudan’s implementation of the Sudan and South Sudan Solutions Initiative, under the auspices of IGAD, following the establishment of the Inter-Ministerial National Technical Committee (NTC) and hosting the second High-Level technical meeting in Juba in early January.

The workshop was attended by over 70 persons, both virtually and in person, including representation of those internally displaced, refugee returnees and host communities in Bentiu, Bor, Jamjang, Maban, Malakal, Wau and Yambio. Refugees hosted in Kenya, Sudan, and Uganda also actively participated virtually.

“As fragile peace holds and the number of people seeking solutions increases, we have a unique opportunity before us,” expressed Arafat Jamal, UNHCR Representative to South Sudan. “This process belongs to the government as well as the people of South Sudan, and I welcome the continued robust participation of displaced people as state level consultations are rolled out.”

IGAD commended the Government of South Sudan for the progress witnessed in the implementation of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS), which provides prospects for durable solutions for millions of displaced populations.

Reflecting the cross-cutting challenges and collaborative spirit needed to create conditions that would allow for solutions, the Government of South Sudan was represented by the Office of the President and Vice President, Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, the Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (RRC) and Commissioner for Refugees Affairs (CRA). In addition, government line ministries, including Gender, Land, Housing and Urban Planning, Education, Health, General Education and Foreign Affairs took part. In addition, representatives from the United Nations, IGAD and civil society participated.

Key priorities raised at the dynamic workshop include accountability and transparent governance; security such as disarmament, demobilization and reintegration; peace building; restoration of social services; coordination of returns and support in return areas; and partnerships to ensure solutions are sustainable.

With some 2.3 million South Sudanese refugees hosted in neighbouring countries, another 1.6 million internally displaced and some 360,000 refugees spontaneously returned to South Sudan, their voices at all stages, including in consultative and dialogue processes that are shaping the path to peace, remains vital. The next step on the way towards the IGAD Heads of State Summit is the launch of state level consultations including outreach to government counterparts, internally displaced people, refugees, returnees, as well as the communities hosting them. The findings of the consultations will inform the drafting of a solutions strategy.

Recognizing that there are still significant obstacles in the way of refugees returning home, any return must be voluntary. UNHCR remains committed to supporting the respective governments in their efforts to create the conditions on the ground that will allow for safe, dignified and sustainable return and integration.

Ethiopia Finally Restores Telco Services In The Tigray Region

     By: Buay Kapduel Buol 

Dec 14, 2020 (Thessherald)–After more than 40 days of power outages and sudden telco service interruptions in the entire Tigray region, the Ethiopian federal authorities have finally resolved to restore telecommunications services in the regional capital, Mekelle.

“Following destruction to infrastructure by the criminal clique’s militia, which resulted in a communication’s and electricity blackout in the Tigray region, the relevant Federal stakeholders have been on the ground since Mekelle came under Federal command, repairing heavy damages sustained. On December 10, 2020 Ethio Telecom shared in a media briefing the details of infrastructure damages caused to the Mekelle Core Site which resulted in telecom service disruptions in the region as of November 4, 2020,” the statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office partly reads.

“As of December 12, 2020, Ethio Telecom shared that mobile voice services in Mekelle city and Maiychew have been restored, in addition to Dansha, Humera, Maikadra, Turkan, Maytsebri, Korem and Alamata”

The federal government also announced the restoration of power and telephone phone services in other areas around Mekelle that had been cut off from the rest of the world since the ENDF and its allies launched large-scale military operations in the Tigray region.

“As it pertains to electric power services, on December 13, 2020 Ethiopian Electric Power announced that electricity has been restored to Mekelle city and its vicinity. Cities and towns between Mekelle and Alamata have had power disruptions due to conductor and insulator damages sustained to transmission lines.”

“Through the coordinated efforts of two technical teams, in addition to Mekelle and surrounding towns, power has also been restored in the north eastern part of the country – specifically Metema, Humera and Welkayit. Both service providers continue to undertake repair work to enable unhindered service provision in the region,” the statement further added.

Abiy Ahmed, winner of the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize, has rebuffed international calls for a peace dialogue between his government and leaders of the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front who are currently in their hideouts in mountainous areas around Mekelle.

Prime Minister Abiy rejects AU mediation efforts

Last month, the Chairperson of the African Union, Cyril Ramaphosa, sent 3 special envoy to Ethiopia in an effort to bring the warring parties to the negotiating table, however, the Ethiopian premier refused to negotiate with the TPLF leaders.

Ethiopian refugees fleeing violence in the northern part of Ethiopia |Photo: © AFP

Currently, more than 50,000 people, predominantly from the Tigray region, have crossed into Sudan in search of safety – and are being sheltered by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees under the supervision of the Sudanese government.

In the wake of the endless influx of Ethiopian refugees into Sudan on an almost daily basis, a high-level delegation led by the Sudanese Prime Minister, Abdalla Hamdok, visited Ethiopia on Sunday and had lengthy discussions with Abiy Ahmed on a number of issues ranging from the GERD-related negotiations to regional security.

IGAD, UNHCR and partners welcome first meeting of Sudan and S. Sudan on solutions to displacement


Dec 2020 (Thessherald)–Representatives of the governments of Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan agreed this week on a regional roadmap which will outline the next steps toward medium to long-term solutions for seven million forcibly displaced persons originating from and hosted by the two countries, and other States hosting displaced populations from both countries.

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), currently chaired by Sudan, UNHCR, the Refugee Agency and partners, welcomed the conclusions of this first technical-level meeting, building on the unprecedented opportunity to find lasting solutions for displaced persons from the two countries. The solution strategies will include refugees, IDPs, returnees and host populations and be advanced through the established IGAD Support Platform launched at the Global Refugee Forum.

“It is a historic moment, for the two governments to come together in search for solutions for their populations” noted Ambassador Mohamed Abdi Affey, Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa.

“We have recently seen impressive developments towards solutions. We have a practical and cordial working relationship between the two governments. We have a roadmap. Now we must work together to show the world that to invest in this process is to light a candle for enduring peace, sustainable return and a hopeful future for the people of South Sudan and Sudan.”

The representatives from Sudan and South Sudan highlighted that the uniqueness of the joint initiative on solutions to displacement stems from the complementarity of the two comprehensive peace agreements, including the signing of the Juba Peace Agreement concluded on 3 October 2020, and the continued efforts in the implementation of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (RARCSS) signed on 12 September 2018.

The governments stressed the need to anchor the initiative within their respective peace deals, which, critically, provide for solutions for refugees, IDPs and returnees.

In the spirit of the peace process, the governments agreed to “a people-centered approach,” prioritizing the rehabilitation and recovery needs of Sudan’s and South Sudan’s displaced peoples. They agreed that both governments should work to create conditions conducive for voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable return while simultaneously working to implement innovative solutions which enhance the quality for asylum in the two countries.

Ms. Fathia Alwan, the IGAD Director for Health and Social Development noted that the inception workshop was a start of multi-year journey as durable solutions are long-term endeavors that requires concerted efforts by all parties and acknowledged the support of the core group members including the European Union, Germany, the World Bank, GIZ and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

She reiterated that the IGAD Support Platform will be the ideal vehicle to advance the solution strategies for the Sudan and South Sudan displacement situations.

Building on the good practices of the Nairobi Process, and the commitments made at the Global Refugee Forum a year ago, the meeting concluded with an outline of the next steps in the roadmap. This includes national consultations to develop solutions strategies in the respective countries to culminate in a joint comprehensive plan of action. The comprehensive plan of action will subsequently be submitted for review and endorsement during the forthcoming IGAD Heads of State Special Summit planned for the first quarter of 2021, aimed at seeking agreement on the early recovery and longer-term peacebuilding and resilience needs of both Sudan and South Sudan.

Both the Sudan and South Sudan delegations emphasized the need to include refugee and IDP voices at all stages of the solutions initiative to ensure the meaningful role conflict-affected communities have in peace efforts. Mr. Hans Stausboll, the EU Head of Unit for East and Horn of Africa welcomed the conclusions of the meeting and reiterated EU’s commitment to support the initiative.

UNHCR committed to supporting the respective governments in their efforts to create the conditions on the ground that will permit safe and sustainable return and integration, and called for a scaling up of development support in areas of potential refugee and IDP return.

The first inception meeting was organised by IGAD in coordination with UNHCR and with the support of the European Union, the World Bank, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), GIZ and UNDP.

UNHCR praises inclusion of refugee and internally displaced voices in South Sudan’s milestone National Dialogue peace conference

The UN Refugee Agency |Photo: UNHCR
The UN Refugee Agency |Photo: UNHCR

UNHCR | Press Release

November 19, 2020 (Thessherald)–On Tuesday, the National Dialogue Conference on Peace concluded in Juba, South Sudan with the release of a communique aimed at identifying a way forward for the revitalized agreement on the resolution of the conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS).

Recommendations covered a host of topics ranging from the economy to safety and security, to governance and social cohesion. In a historic step, refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs) and returnees also brought their unique perspectives to the deliberations.

The Dialogue provided a platform for a frank and earnest exchange of views among over

500 participants from all walks of life. In light of the global pandemic, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, assisted a dozen participants to connect virtually from five asylum countries including the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda. In addition, 26 IDPs and returnees across South Sudan connected to the proceedings online, in close coordination with the National Dialogue Conference’s organizers. Many more watched the livestreamed discussions.

Refugee, IDP and returnee recommendations were included in the final report, which largely focused on displacement solutions. Concretely, they called for security sector reform and strengthening the rule of law, improvements in essential services in their home location, inclusion of women, youth and persons with disabilities in governance; reforms that respect women’s rights to own, inherit and transfer land; housing, land and property restitution; economic stability and creation of employment opportunities.

Reflecting the gravity of the occasion, President H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit addressed the Conference on the final day, along with members of the diplomatic community in Juba. In his concluding remarks, the Honourable Angelo Beda, co-chairperson of the National Dialogue, recognised that continued momentum following the dialogue is crucial, and urged the full realisation of the recommendations. Participants also echoed the call for progress. “What sets great nations apart is the implementation of policies”, said Zacharia Friday in Yambio, Western Equatoria State on behalf of internally displaced persons in South Sudan.

With nearly 2.2 million South Sudanese refugees hosted in neighbouring countries and another 1.6 million persons displaced within the country, UNHCR stresses for their voice to be heard at all stages, including in consultations which are shaping the path to peace.

“Peace is not complete until the nation is complete, and the nation is not complete until all of its citizens have a meaningful role to play in that,” said Arafat Jamal, UNHCR Representative speaking at the closing ceremony. “Thank you to the National Dialogue for welcoming the virtual participation of conflict affected communities.”

UNHCR Welcomes Participation of Refugee and IDPs in S. Sudan’s National Dialogue Conference

Emblem of the UN Refugee Agency |UNHCR
           Press Release

November 4, 2020 (Thessherald)–UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, welcomes the inclusion of refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs) and spontaneous refugee returnees in the National Dialogue Conference, which began today in Juba, South Sudan, and will last until November 14.

With nearly 2.2 million South Sudanese refugees hosted in neighbouring countries and another 1.6 million persons displaced within the country, ensuring that their voices and views continue to be part of this dialogue is essential for the inclusiveness of the process.

“Refugees and IDPs can and do contribute to the resolution of the conflicts that uprooted them. Involving them in this National Dialogue with their compatriots helps to build long-lasting peace, including through durable solutions to displacement and improving conditions in the areas of return,” explains newly arrived UNHCR Representative Arafat Jamal. ‘On this, my first day in South Sudan, I am heartened to see South Sudanese from all walks of life working together to forge greater harmony through honest and focused interchange.’

On the event’s agenda are thematic discussions on the economy, governance, security and social cohesion. Participation of forcibly displaced to this Conference provides them with a platform where to address issues affecting all South Sudanese, ensuring they play a central role in the revitalized peace efforts along with fellow citizens.

While in person attendance would have been preferred, the various travel requirements related to the COVID-19 pandemic did not allow for this possibility at this time. To facilitate inclusion of refugee and IDPs’ voices and views in the National Dialogue, UNHCR has organised internet access for a dozen participants to participate virtually from six asylum countries, namely the Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda, and 28 IDP and IDP returnees across South Sudan, in close coordination with the National Dialogue Conference’s organizers.

This comes after UNHCR partnership with the National Dialogue Sub-Committee for Refugees and International Outreach, formed in 2017 to facilitate the participation of South Sudanese residing outside the country. With this aim, the sub-committee travelled to four countries of asylum, Uganda, Kenya, Sudan and Ethiopia in 2019, providing South Sudanese refugees with the opportunity to contribute towards this important part of the peace process. IDPs were also included in several grass-rooted consultations held in different South Sudan locations ahead of this Conference.

UNHCR provides life-saving assistance to IDPs as floods wreak havoc in Bor

IDPs receive food assistance from UNHCR| Photo: UNHCR/Gift Friday Noah

October 27, 2020 (Thessherald)–The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR-South Sudan) has provided life-saving humanitarian aid to thousands of internally displaced people who have been uprooted from their homes by the devastating floods.

“Thousands have been temporarily displaced from their homes by floods in Bor and are currently living in the Mangala IDP settlement. As part of the response to this situation, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency and its Partner Humanitarian Development Consortium, have been distributing much needed assistance,” the UN Refugee Agency said in a brief statement.

“More than 1,200 vulnerable families, for a total of 6,340 individuals, received emergency assistance.”

Currently, around 700,000 people are reported to have been affected by the floods across the country.

South Sudan has been torn apart by the conflict, forcing over 1.47 million people to seek shelter in the UNMISS camps and another 2.2 million to neighbouring countries.

In September, the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and disaster management (MHADM) declared Mangalla as an IDPs camp to host flood-stricken communities.

UNHCR-S Sudan welcomes the donation of 440 000 masks from Switzerland

UNHCR receives a consignment of face-masks from the Switzerland |Photo: UNHCR

Press Release

Oct 15, 2020 (Thessherald)–The UN Refugee Agency received today in Juba 440 000 masks from Swiss Humanitarian Aid, part of a larger three million face mask donation Switzerland made to UNHCR, to boost the protection of frontline workers from COVID-19.

UNHCR South Sudan is grateful for the donation of 440 000 face masks from Switzerland. These personal protective equipment items, part of a larger donation that Switzerland made to the UN Refugee Agency, recently arrived in Juba and will be soon dispatched to refugee hosting areas. To mark the occasion, UNHCR and the Swiss Cooperation Office and Consular Agency held a joint press conference at UNHCR warehouse in Juba today. The event was attended by the Minister of Humanitarian and Disaster Management, and the Deputy Commissioner for Refugee Affairs of South Sudan.

The lack of personal protective equipment is one of the main challenges in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in remote areas where the majority of refugees are hosted in South Sudan. Protecting frontlines workers and humanitarians is pivotal to ensure there are no disruption of services. “The use of these PPEs will decrease the risk of exposure to the virus for our staff and community outreach workers,” says Felicia Mandy Owusu, UNHCR Assistant Representative for Operations, welcoming the donation, “UNHCR would like to thank Switzerland for standing with refugees.”

Switzerland has generously contributed, since 2019, more than 1.5 million USD to UNHCR to protect and assist displaced persons in South Sudan.

“The need for protection and humanitarian assistance in South Sudan was already very high even before the current pandemic broke out,” explains Marcel Stoessel, Deputy Head of Mission at the Swiss Cooperation Office and Consular Agency in Juba, “We are glad to be able to make a contribution with these masks so that services to the forcibly displaced can be maintained at a time when South Sudan is confronted with multiple crisis, including the COVID-19 pandemic.”

UNHCR, EU and IGAD agree to address refugee crises in Sudan and S. Sudan

The women and children shown in these images living in Yida cam. They were displaced from the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan, Sudan |Photo: MSF
The women and children shown in these images are living in Yida camp. They were displaced from the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan, Sudan |Photo: MSF

Joint Press Statement |UNHCR, EU and IGAD

October 9, 2020 (Thessherald)–On the margins of UNHCR’s annual Executive Committee proceedings, the Foreign Ministers of Sudan and South Sudan held a meeting chaired by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and attended by the Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), and the European Union Commissioner for International Partnerships, at which they agreed to begin an IGAD-led regional initiative to seek solutions to protracted displacement in Sudan and South Sudan.

With the recent signing of the Juba Peace Agreement between Sudan’s Transitional Government and the Sudan Revolutionary Front and others on 3 October 2020, and the continued efforts in implementation of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS) signed on 12 September 2018, all parties present agreed it is a unique opportunity to find lasting solutions for displaced persons from the two countries.

As part of the IGAD-led process, a High-Level Meeting is foreseen to take place during an IGAD Heads of State Special Summit that is planned for the first quarter of 2021. The aim will be to agree on the early recovery and longer-term peacebuilding and resilience needs for five million Sudanese and South Sudanese internally displaced persons, refugees and returnees, and to urge the international community to show solidarity and support the process.

The High-Level Meeting is in line with the Nairobi Declaration, an agreement by IGAD countries to have a comprehensive regional approach to deliver durable solutions for refugees while also maintaining protection and promoting self-reliance in the countries of asylum. In addition, the process will be an initiative of the IGAD Support Platform launched during the Global Refugee Forum in December last year, and which consists of humanitarian and development organizations, donors, private sector and other partners committing to show solidarity by providing concrete technical, financial and development support to refugees in the IGAD region.

All parties further agreed that key factors for achieving success will be the participation of refugees, IDPs, and returnees in the process, full regional engagement especially with countries hosting Sudanese and South Sudanese refugees, the crucial roles and contributions of other UN actors, and more support from the international community. A first preparatory meeting will take place in Khartoum at the end of the month.

The IGAD member states are Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda. Currently, there are over 1.8 million Sudanese internally displaced, mainly in the Darfur region, and over 700,000 refugees located in neighbouring countries. Figures for South Sudanese include some 2.2 million refugees in the region and another 1.6 million displaced within the country.

UNHCR strengthens support to S. Sudan’s search for durable solutions for millions of forcibly displaced

UNHCR Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, Ambassador Mohamed Affey meets President Salva Kiir Mayardit |Photo: UNHCR

Press Statement |UNHCR-S. Sudan

Sept 25, 2020 (Thessherald)–UNHCR Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, Ambassador Mohamed Affey, concluded a High-Level mission to renew the joint commitment to find durable solutions for millions of forcibly displaced people in the region.

UNHCR, the UN refugee Agency, strengthens its support to South Sudan’s Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity’s search for a comprehensive and lasting solutions for those forcibly displaced in the region. With 1.6 million internally displaced persons and 2.25 million South Sudanese refugees in the neighbouring countries, South Sudan continues to represent the largest displacement situation in Africa, and one of the biggest globally. In addition, more than 302,000 refugees and 3,700 asylum seekers are generously hosted in the country.

While the country is moving towards the establishment of a long-lasting peace, through the implementation of the 2018 Revitalized Peace Agreement, UNHCR renews its commitment in supporting the government to find durable solutions for those displaced. More than 205,000 South Sudanese refugees have spontaneously returned to South Sudan since the signing of the peace deal, two years ago.

It is in this backdrop that UNHCR’s Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, Ambassador Mohamed Affey, held a three-day mission to South Sudan. During his visit, concluded on Wednesday, he met and discussed this critical topic with President Salva Kiir Mayardit and Vice President Rebecca Nyandeng De Mabior, and other high-level officials. He also met with SRSG David Shearer and other UN senior officials in the country.

Thanks to these meetings, the start of a longer dialogue was established on which UNHCR and the government will build on to find a way forward that will ultimately benefit both displaced and host communities. This is in line with the pledges that the country has set for itself at the first Global Refugee Forum, last December in Geneva.

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