Rwanda Information Portal

Rwanda: Sustainable reintegration program for refugees returning to Rwanda

Catherine Northing, chief of mission IOM Rwanda, and Mukantabana Seraphine, Minister in charge of refugees

Catherine Northing, chief of mission IOM Rwanda, and Mukantabana Seraphine, Minister in charge of refugees

At least 5000 returnees will this year be provided with basic necessities to help them reintegrate within their communities, officials have announced.

The assistance ranges from food to housing support to the most vulnerable returnees, as well as technical skills and start up kits for income generating activities.

“This is a way of encouraging even those who are still scattered in refugee camps around the world to return to their country,” said Serafina Mukantabana, the Minister in charge of refugees, while launching the third phase of the program on Monday.

The program is implemented by the ministry and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) with financial support of the Japan government.

The initiative started in 2010 and so far, about 8300 returnees and other vulnerable people have been provided with direct reintegration assistance to secure sustainable livelihood. This year, targeted beneficiaries are from ten districts namely Karongi, Nyabihu, Nyamasheke, Rubavu, Rutsiro, Huye, Gisagara, Nyaruguru, Nyamagabe and Musanze.

Catherine Northing, IOM chief of mission in Rwanda, said that they are now working on a mapping exercise to get institutions that are going to provide technical skills for the beneficiaries as well as identifying returnees in need.

Around 70,000 are expected to return by 2015 as a result of the Cessation Clause which comes into force in June this year, after which it will no longer be possible for Rwandans to claim refugee status.

“Rwanda is a free place where everyone can come,” Northing explained.

Those who are still in doubt, she suggested, should make use of the ‘come and see’ program to see the reality on the ground with their own eyes.

Source: The Rwanda Focus

May 8, 2013   1 Comment