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28.05.2004 General News

Humanitarian programmes dominate US Foreign Policy - Dewey

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Buduburam (CR), May 28, GNA - Mr Gene Dewey, United States Assistant Secretary of State and Former Deputy United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), on Friday said humanitarian programmes were important part of US foreign policy.

He said the United States was the largest donor to the UNHCR and she contributed 30 per cent of the total cost of all refugee programmes in Africa.

Mr Dewey made this statement when he paid a familiarisation visit to Buduburam Refugee Settlement at Gomoa Buduburam in the Central Region.

The visit is to afford him an opportunity to learn at first hand the refugee programme in Ghana.

Mr Dewey whose tour has already taken him to the Krisan Refugee Settlement in the Western Region forms part of a comprehensive review of refugee assistance and admissions issues in Ghana. Mr Dewey said the US government's support to UNHCR indicated its strong commitment to finding sustainable solutions to the refugee problems in a burden-sharing framework.

Mr Thomas Albrecht, UNHCR Representative in Ghana, called for tolerance and understanding of Ghanaians for refugees and urged them not to see only their vulnerability but also their positive contributions to the society.

He said there were various reforms underway in areas of education and health at the camps to bring the facilities to enhance quality of education and health care delivery. Mr Albrecht said a health facility would be added to the existing one to cater for the needs of the population in the area. Mr Dewey in the company of the UNHCR officials visited a new school block and a day-care centre, where teenage mother could leave their children attending vocational training classes. The US Government funded it.