Zambia: UNHCR’s new representative to assumes duties

LUSAKA – Newly-appointed United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to Zambia has officially assumed her duties, the agency said on Tuesday.

Pierrine Aylara has assumed her duties after presenting her letters of credence to Zambia authorities last Friday.

“I am very excited to work in this great country, Zambia, with a rich history of hosting refugees and focusing on solutions for them,” she said, according to a statement.

The new UNHCR representative, a Benin-Swiss national, presented her letters of credence to Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Chalwe Lombe.

She takes over from Laura Lo Castro who completed her assignment at the end of June 2017.

During her stewardship of UNHCR in Zambia, she will be fulfilling the agency’s mandate of protecting and finding durable solutions for refugees as well as fostering a sustained and effective working relationship with stakeholders.

On his part, Lombe said the government remained committed to the ideals of an open-door policy to refugees, and pursuit of peace and durable solutions for displaced person whom the country has hosted over the years.

The new UNHCR representative has served in various field locations and at the agency’s headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. She has also held several stints at senior level within UNHCR in Mozambique and Angola as representative.

Zambia currently hosts some 58,000 refuges and others of concern, mostly from Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Somalia and Uganda. Xinhua

Source: Angola Press News Agency