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Humanitarian assistance to refugees in rural Ghana: Implications for refugee-host relations

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Abstract:

In the face of protracted refugee situations worldwide, peaceful co-existence with host populations is necessary to ensure a meaningful life for refugees. Refugees need assistance to survive, especially in the emergency phase of their arrival in host communities. However, establishing refugee camps in predominantly rural communities with poor living conditions questions the type of assistance that should be offered in order to avoid resentment from rural hosts. The article explores the implications of humanitarian assistance to refugees in Krisan Refugee Camp in Ghana for refugee-host relations. Where assistance to refugees is perceived to be above average living conditions in the host communities, there is likely to be resentment among hosts. This may create antagonism between refugees and hosts, thereby jeopardising peaceful co-existence. It is concluded that assistance should also take the needs of local populations into consideration in order to create a congenial atmosphere for co-existence.

Keywords: Ghana; Krisan Refugee Camp; humanitarian assistance; refugees; resentment

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00291951.2011.574319

Publication date: June 1, 2011

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