The United Nations (UN) has commended the government of Tanzania for its landmark achievements in hosting refugees from neighboring countries of Burundi, Rwanda and the DRC.
UN resident co-ordinator Alberic Kacou made the remark yesterday in Dar es Salaam at a function to launch the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) State of the World Population Report, 2010 titled ‘From Conflict and Crisis to Renewal: Generations of Change.’
He said Tanzania has been hosting refugees for decades and was in the forefront of liberation struggles in the region and now it effectively participates in long-term peace building initiatives in the great lakes region.
Speaking about the report, he said this year’s State of the World Population reminds that women play pivotal role in resilience settlement and recovery. “Let us ensure that all young people, particularly those affected by conflict, get every opportunity to participate fully in building lives in their societies,” he said.
Home Affairs ministry deputy permanent secretary Elizabeth Nyambibo said the launched report provides some possible paths to follow in addressing the impact of conflicts, especially to women and children.
Meanwhile, UNFPA executive director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid said if Africa countries are serious about preventing conflicts, recovering from war and building lasting peace, they should starting by empowering women and youths, who are agents of positive change.
“When women and girls suffer deep discrimination they are more vulnerable to the worst effects of disaster of war, including the weapon and humiliation of rape and less likely to contribute to peace building which threatens long-term recovery,” she said.
Obaid said governments need to seize opportunities arising out of post-conflict recovery or emerging from natural disasters to increase the chances that countries are not just rebuilt, but built back better and renewed with women and men on equal footing in terms of rights and opportunities.