UNHCR, logistics company team up to help refugees in Malaysia

Registered refugees in Penang and Johor will no longer have to travel to Kuala Lumpur for services such as card renewal. (Bernama pic)

DAVOS: A leading global logistics provider and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) have formed a partnership to strengthen the delivery of essential services to refugees in Malaysia, particularly those living outside the capital.

The partnership between Agility and UNHCR, announced at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, will establish pilot programmes in Johor and Penang.

The programmes will bring essential services to more than 12,000 refugees, including refugee card renewal, access to essential information related to protection, and counselling on available services.

There are about 178,000 refugees registered with UNHCR in Malaysia. The partnership will allow UNHCR to extend support to more than 12,000 of them in the two states, the majority of whom are Rohingya from Myanmar.

With local engagement and support, these refugees will not have to travel more than 300km to Kuala Lumpur to have access to vital services, including refugee card renewal.

“UNHCR’s services are critical to giving refugees and families a safe place in times of turmoil,” Agility CEO Tarek Sultan said.

“The services provided by UNHCR will help support a stronger sense of community for refugees who have been forced to flee their homes and villages.

“Agility has long supported UNHCR in the Middle East. We see a need to expand our partnership to help meet the needs of refugees in Malaysia.”