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HRW calls on govt to aid refugees, asylum seekers ‘facing starvation’

The organisation said government had been biased in its COVID-19 food aid programmes, claiming it was overlooking foreign nationals.

FILE: Foreign nationals at the UN Refugee Agency in Cape Town on 14 October 2019. Picture: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - Human Rights Watch (HRW) has calling on government to help refugees and asylum seekers, saying they were facing starvation.

The organisation said government had been biased in its COVID-19 food aid programmes, claiming it was overlooking foreign nationals.

HRW said it had received several requests from refugees and asylum seekers who were without food.

The organisation's Dewa Mavhinga said: “The reality that we are getting on the ground as Human Rights Watch is that there are thousands of refugees and asylum seekers in urgent need of urgent intervention at this point.”

He said government needed to intervene now.

“Government should publicly acknowledge this gap and also invite donors and others who can support these vulnerable groups.”

The organisation has asked the Human Rights Commission to look into the matter.