EDITORIAL: Monetising relief supplies in refugee camps welcome news

The Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs this week announced that the cash-for-food programme that is currently running in three camps for refugees living in Rwanda will be extended to all the six refugee camps in the country.

The Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs this week announced that the cash-for-food programme that is currently running in three camps for refugees living in Rwanda will be extended to all the six refugee camps in the country.

The rationale, according to officials, is to ensure the refugees can be able to make own decisions on basic things like what they should eat.

 

The move is designed to ensure that refugees are given the opportunity to use the money as they wish and encourage a savings culture among refugee communities.  

 

With the cash, the refugees will be able to plan and make some savings which could allow them to start income generating projects, and the multiplier effect could be enormous within the refugee camps and surrounding areas.

 

This programme, which is being piloted in Rwanda among few other countries around the world, has been seen as not only empowering on the part of the refugees, but also the host communities.  

It is, therefore, imperative that other partners with different interventions in the refugee camps monetise their services too, where possible, to help increase currency circulation in and around the camps.

And, in a move that fits well with Rwanda’s policy to promote a cashless economy, the refugees have been given smartcards that will help keep their money safe and enjoy other benefits that come with embracing cashless services.

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