UN agencies assist South Africa in wake of xenophobic violence

UN agencies assist South Africa in wake of xenophobic violence

Displaced foreigners offload UNHCR sleeping mats in Germiston (South Africa)
An inter-agency United Nations team is helping the South African Government respond to last month’s wave of xenophobic attacks that killed some 60 people and left tens of thousands of foreigners homeless.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has established a telephone hotline for refugees and asylum-seekers and is also assisting the Government with efforts to register displaced people in Gauteng province, scene of much of the recent violence.

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is helping with nutrition, education and child protection efforts and has also provided basic recreational materials for school students.

The inter-agency team is also leading training for officials in Cape Town and elsewhere on disaster response and applying humanitarian principles.

Officials across the UN have spoken out against the xenophobic violence in South Africa, which is home to more than 128,000 registered refugees and asylum-seekers.