By Tiyanjane Mambucha
United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) Monday donated equipment to National Registration Bureau (NRB) office in Dowa district to support birth registration process in the district.
Acting Country Representative for UNHCR, Rica Amano said the equipment was aimed at facilitating registration and issuing of birth certificates.
“We have donated to NRB office in Dowa district to boost the capacity of the office and help in registration of children. UNHCR realizes that every child has a right to be registered including children from the refugee’s camp.
“In Dzaleka refugee Camp alone we have over 45 000 refugees and asylum seekers of which 51 per cent are children. We are grateful that Dowa office has been registering and issuing birth certificates to children born at Dzaleka health center and Dowa district hospital since 2017,” she said.
Director for NRB, Victor Malewa said the Bureau has been facing a challenge in distributing birth certificates in time since most processes were being done centrally due to lack of equipment in the districts.
“Issuing birth certificates to mothers was taking time because printing and other things were done centrally. We hope the equipment will help us print certificates easily and faster and be able to register over 90% of children born in our hospitals,” he said.
Deputy Commissioner for Refugees, under the Ministry of Homeland Security, Dr. Hudson Mankhwala hailed UNHCR for the donation.
“The equipment will strengthen the registration process. We believe this will ensure that refugee children are part of NRB database. This is quite positive because refugees born in Malawi will be registered as refugees not as locals,” he said.
The donated equipment includes small, label and heavy duty printers, laptops as well as Desktop computers.-MANA