The Government in partnership with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) on Tuesday inaugurated a multi-functional building constructed for refugees in Nyabiheke refugee camp, Gatsibo District.
Dubbed One-Stop Centre, the building has a police post, migration office, office for Disaster management and Refugees Affairs ministry and a primary school with 14 classes. The inauguration function was attended by officials from UNHCR, Rwanda Education Board (Reb), Rwanda National Police (RNP) and local leaders.
Officials said the big part was reserved for the fight against gender-based violence and other forms of violence. Women and children comprise over 80 per cent of the refugee population in Rwanda. They are faced with challenges such as limited access to education and gender-based violence (GBV) among others.
The facility will be manned by police with two detention rooms to ensure order in the camps. Séraphine Mukantabana, the Minister for Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs (Midimar), while presiding over the function said the facility was expected to reduce GBV, domestic crimes and other forms of violence in the camp.
She added that the police had significantly enforced discipline and order in the camp. "This facility is more than enough to support the work of government officials from Midimar, Police and Immigration. It will also help reinforce coordination between the government, UNHCR and partners," she said.
She commended the UNHCR for providing the necessary equipment including computers, office furniture and accessories as part of the hand-over. The minister told the refugee community that even though the One-Stop Centre was to be used by security organs such as the police, it should not be looked at as a prison, a court or a prosecution post.
"Your contribution to security, prevention of violence etc is a must. This is a counselling and orientation centre where you should get important skills and capacity to prevent all sort of violence and crimes," Mukantabana said. She further said the classrooms will help provide the refugee children with the necessary education.
"The knowledge will help the children in future when they return home," she said. Rwanda is home to more than 73,000 refugees and asylum seekers, accommodated in five various camps.