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Rwanda issues identity cards to refugees living in urban areas

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Since 2018, Rwanda which has issued more than 2 500 identity cards to refugees so they can access social services and jobs.

In 2016, Rwanda committed to include refugees in its national health insurance scheme and integrate the refugee children in its education system. Atop issuing identity cards to refugees, the country will begin dispending health insurance to some 12 045 refugees living in urban areas.

Commenting on the move, the spokesperson of the Rwandan Ministry of Emergency Management (MINEMA), Jean Claude Twishime, explained that giving mutual health insurance to refugees aims at supporting them with development projects.

It said that the UNHCR would be contributing Rwf 7 000 seven dollars) for each refugee to be enrolled in the Community Health Insurance Scheme – Mutuelle de Santé.

So far, the Rwandan government has dispensed some 2 760 cards to mainly Burundian and some Congolese refugees in a move to enable them opening bank accounts and invest in Rwanda.

Latest estimates by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) indicate that the country hosts more than 172 000 refugees from Burundi (53 percent) and Democratic Republic of Congo (46 percent).

Burundian refugees are camped in Mahama in southeast Rwanda which is home to nearly 900 000.

It is described as the largest out of the five camps in Rwanda.


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