UNCHR to Provide Post-Amnesty Support in Belize
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is looking to strengthen the agency’s partnership with the Government of Belize. The UNCHR’s Regional Representative, Philippa Candler, is currently on a three-day visit to Belize to visit and meet with the local community that received assistance from their Hurricane Lisa relief fund that was donated to the Government of Belize. Candler explains that they are still committed to assisting the government of Belize in its recovery efforts following natural disasters.
Philippa Candler, High Commissioner for Refugees Regional Representative, UNHCR: “UNHCR has this protection role in the context of displacement that we also do recognize that climate change is an increasing emergency for all of us and that it does result in people being displaced. And so in that context when there are natural disasters and we’re in a position to provide some support, it’s not always the case but sometimes we are then we are more than willing to provide the support that we can both to refugee and asylum seeker populations who might be affected by natural disasters but also to the host community who are very important as well as they’re the people who receive the refugees and asylum seekers. And so in the context of Hurricane Lisa we did have some funds that we were able to put to some relief efforts, to buying some materials to help people reconstruct their homes. So we were happy to be able to do that. It was a small thing but nevertheless I hope that it was important to the people who were able to benefit from that. There were a number of host community families who did receive some support through that.”
UNHCR Belize’s Head of Office, Myrat Myradov, explains that they are also looking to provide post-amnesty program support for asylum seekers and refugees in Belize.
Myrat Myradoe, Head of Office, UNHRC Belize: “Indeed the major two priorities for UNHCR in Belize is first strengthening the asylum system in the country which actually entails not only legislation, making sure that legislation review is conducted and the gaps are addressed as well as working closely with the refugee department and providing we have a project agreement with them so we’re able to support both financially and in terms of participating in the capacity building initiatives to ensure that the adjudication of the asylum claims taking place in the timely manner and due diligence is exercised. And the second objective is ensuring amnesty process and concluding of the amnesty process in the positive manner for the persons UNHCR protects asylum seekers and the refugees and I think I also need to mention because you’ve been asking about the support that UNHCR provides it’s not only the outreach activities and going into the communities and supporting with the national NGOs and CBOs which are the Community Based Organizations but also providing financial and material support.”