RE: “Nyabiheke refugees get smartcards to ease shopping” (The New Times, October 21).
Kudos to the Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs (Midimar) for this “smart” initiative – introducing smartcards for Nyabiheke refugees to ease shopping.
It is encouraging to read that this initiative will soon cover all six refugee camps across the country.
The World Food Programme has allocated Rwf6,200 per refugee per month to cover food rations. By giving the refugees smartcards with a certain pre-loaded amount, they will have the option to buy the type of food, as per their individual choices, rather than be saddled with standard rations common to all the refugees.
Refugees in the six camps, whether they are from the Democratic Republic of Congo or from Burundi, need sympathy and understanding and Midimar is always looking out for ways and means to alleviate their suffering and to make their life in the refugee camps as comfortable and satisfying as possible despite the severe constraints that are inevitable in such a situation.
Helping the refugees to develop skills and make products that could well find a ready market, as reported by your newspaper, is another initiative by Midimar, which is commendable and which will go a long way towards making the refugees self-sufficient.