The United Nations General Assembly held a special meeting on Monday (6 June) to discuss the growing refugee problem in southern Africa.
GV U.N. General Assembly (MUTE)
SV Mr Dayal , U.N. High Commission Officer for refugees
GV Delegates (2 shots) (MUTE)
SV U.S. Deputy Ambassador Mr J. Leonard, speaking
DAYAL: "In order to present an overall picture of the refugee situation in southern Africa and to follow up on the Secretary General's appeal in this regard, the High Commissioner for Refugee's bill very shortly will be addressing a comprehensive letter and aid memoir to governments. The High commissioner's follow-up, we have already begun consultations with potential donors, will provide details of projects, numbers and needs. It is the intention of the High Commissioner to seek not only 10.16 million dollars for Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland, but a further sum of some six million dollars for refugees from South Africa, Zimbabwe and Namibia in other adjoining countries.
Already we have been obliged to draw upon some 1.7 million from our emergency and other funds, in order to institute immediate actions to relieve hardship and suffering. The High Commission has asked me to emphasize that the situation in the area is developing dramatically. Our present estimates are conservative and can radically be outstripped should the influx of refugees continue at the present rate."
LEONARD: "At the beginning of my statement I noted that the United States voted for the supporting resolutions with great satisfaction. It's with equal satisfaction that I announce today the commitment in principle of the United States, subject to the completion of our authorisation processes, to contribute between five and one half and six million dollars to a special fund of the U.N. High Commission for Refugees, to be used for the education of refugees in Botswana. It is further my understanding that there will be forthcoming additional requests for aid for refugees designed to help Lesotho and Swaziland. My Government will be pleased to consider such requests."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The United Nations General Assembly held a special meeting on Monday (6 June) to discuss the growing refugee problem in southern Africa. Two of the countries affected are Botswana and Lesotho. As well as having to cope with an increasing number of refugees, they say they are in grave economic danger because they have to commit so much of their resources to containing raids by Rhodesian troops. Later several U.N. states pledged financial assistance.
SYNOPSIS: A representative of the U.N. High Commission for Refugees, Mr Dayal , said more than sixteen million dollars was needed for Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland in refugee aid and he emphasized the grave urgency of the situation.
The United States has offered money and its deputy Ambassador, Mr James Leonard, spoke to the Assembly.