N’Djamena, 19 September 2018.
Exactly two years after the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants was adopted, the Government of Chad – in partnership with the United Nations, donor countries and technical and financial partners – officially launched the CRRF in a national Symposium. The launch follows the formal announcement of its application in May this year and marks a milestone step towards achieving the objectives of comprehensive responses and the proposed global compact on refugees, to be adopted by the UN General Assembly later this year.
The launch was chaired by the Chadian Minister of Territorial Administration, Public Security and Local Governance, Mr. Ahmat Mahamat Bachir and was attended by six Province Governors, three provincial Secretary Generals, representatives of development, the UN Resident Coordinator and UN Agencies, the donor community, refugees from various locations in the country, NGOs and other members of civil society. The participation of regional government authorities is key to ensure that both refugees and the hosting communities benefit from emergency assistance and more long-term responses to meet their needs. Other participants included UN Agencies, the donor community, refugees from various locations in the country, and civil society.
In his inaugural remarks, Minister Ahmat Mahamat Bachir said: “As we work to include refugees in our national development systems – from integrating refugee schools into our public system to giving refugees access to health services – we welcome the CRRF and the opportunities it provides for our partners to support this process”. With 450,000 refugees in Chad, representing more than 3% of Chad’s population “… the involvement of development and financial institutions can help ease the pressures on Chad and support greater self-reliance for refugees”, he added.
UNHCR’s Country Representative in Chad, Mbili Ambaoumba, explained that comprehensive responses require more systematic efforts to merge humanitarian aid with development actions, and increased collaboration to deliver programmes that benefit both refugees and their hosts. “The CRRF is a new way of working where more actors come together to support the Government of Chad to increase durable solutions for refugees. This includes stronger socio-economic inclusion in their host communities, more resettlement options in third countries, and the creation of better conditions in countries of origin to enable refugees to return home safely,” he said.
The United Nations Resident Coordinator, Stephen Tull, was encouraged by the broad engagement of multiple actors at the Symposium: “The CRRF is a tool to mobilise all stakeholders who can contribute to both humanitarian and development interventions that benefit host communities and refugees. Critically, it aligns with the National Development Plan, as well as the One UN approach, a new way of working that supports stronger collaboration among agencies.”
In line with the pledges made by the Chadian Government at the UN Leaders’ Summit on Refugees in 2016, Minister Ahmat Mahamat Bachir announced that the draft of a new asylum law is expected to be adopted before the end of the year, once it is presented to the Council of Minister and adopted by Parliament. A draft action plan to guide the application of the CRRF was endorsed at the launch and will be the subject of further discussions in the weeks to come.
Photo: Minister Ahmat Mahamat Bachir addressing the audience at the National Symposiom. ©UNHCR/ Nde Ndifonka