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[NEWS] UNHCR and Tzu Chi Illuminate the Path for Refugees in Malaysia [Video]

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Malaysia News

[NEWS] UNHCR and Tzu Chi Illuminate the Path for Refugees in Malaysia

In Malaysia, there are over 185,000 refugees, and many of them lack access to basic healthcare and education due to their unrecognised status by the government. Since 2004, Tzu Chi KL & Selangor has been working hand-in-hand with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The collaboration, marked by memorandums of cooperation signed in 2005 and 2007, respectively, is renewed annually, in a shared mission to offer refugees a ray of hope for survival. To extend this enduring partnership, the newly appointed UNHCR Director for Asia and the Pacific recently visited the Tzu-Chi Free Clinic in Kuala Lumpur to gain insights into the outcomes of the joint efforts.

UNHCR Regional Director, Hai Kyung Jun
When (they’re) forced to leave their countries
and go to another country,
they’re very grateful to be in safety,
they’re very grateful to be in safety,
but of course, things like getting new education, employments,
and treatments in hospitals are very challenging.

Refugees aren’t recognised by the Malaysian Government. They’re deprived of access to basic education and healthcare benefits. According to the UNHCR, as of January 2024, there’re over 185,000 refugees and asylum seekers in Malaysia.

Since 2004, Tzu Chi KL & Selangor has been collaborating with the UNHCR. They signed Memorandums of Understanding in 2005 and 2007, and have been renewing the partnership annually, offering a glimmer of hope to refugees. In continuation of this longstanding partnership, the newly appointed UNHCR Director for Asia and the Pacific visited the Tzu-Chi Free Clinic in Kuala Lumpur, to gain insights into the outcomes of the joint efforts.

Head of Tzu Chi KL & Selangor’s Refugee Affairs Department, Foo Seay Liang
Though don’t experience wars here,
refugees continue to exist.
Currently, we collaborate with the UNHCR
in three areas.
Firstly, frontline medical services.
Secondly, education.
Our schools adopt
the IGCSE (curriculum),
enabling them to
continue their studies when they relocate to other countries.
The third is the CBI (Cash-Based Intervention) programme,
which provides financial assistance.

UNHCR Regional Director, Hai Kyung Jun
I’m very much impressed.
It’s a very comprehensive treatment and service the (Tzu Chi) Foundation is giving.
Not only physical service,
but it’s also linked to education, mental well-being, and dentistry.
I hope that the (Tzu Chi) Foundation
can continue working to assist the refugees,
assist and serve the refugees and other people that we care for.
It’s not only the job of the government or UN Agencies,
or one particular group.
It’s the work of all in the society.

The assistance provided by Tzu Chi brought refugees peace of mind in a foreign land. Together with UNCHR, Tzu Chi KL & Selangor extend aid to refugees, illuminating lights in the shadows of society.

REPORT
By Liew Jing Yin & Lim Yen Kuan, Malaysia

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