UNHCR: Thousands of Refugees in Camps, Urban Areas Left Without Basic Aid
A new report finds nearly a third of refugees and other people cared for by the U.N. refugee agency are not getting their basic needs met. Lisa Schlein reports for VOA from UNHCR headquarters in Geneva.
The U.N. refugee agency conducted assessments in eight pilot countries, including Cameroon, Ecuador, Georgia, Rwanda, Thailand, Tanzania, Yemen and Zambia early this year.
Refugees living in camps, as well as those living in urban areas were surveyed. So were internally displaced and stateless people.
U.N. refugee spokeswoman, Jennifer Pagonis tells VOA aid workers were unprepared for what they found.
“And, the startling finding, I think, was really that 30 percent of the basic needs of refugees are not being met. And, that is for education, health, sanitation,” said Pagonis. “Very simple things like this that can have such a profound effect on the lives of refugees.”
Pagonis says refugees living in camps tend to get assistance, such as food, from humanitarian agencies. She says they also live in a slightly more protected environment than do urban refugees.