Buduburam refugee camp, July 2005
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Buduburam is a refugee camp located 44 kilometers (27 mi) west of Accra, Ghana. Opened by the UNHCR in 1990, the camp is home to more than 12,000  refugees from Liberia who fled their country during the First Liberian Civil War (1989–1996) and the Second Liberian Civil War (1999–2003), in addition to refugees from Sierra Leone who also escaped from the ravages of their civil war (1991–2001). The camp is served by Liberian and international NGO groups and volunteer organizations. The Carolyn A. Miller Elementary School provides free education to nearly 500 children in the camp.
The UNHCR began pulling out of the camp in April 2007, slowly withdrawing all UNHCR-administered services; June 2010 was the official cessation of refugee status for the refugees in the settlement. BUDUBURAM, located in Ghana, was established in 1990 to accommodate the influx of Liberian refugees who fled to Ghana when Charles Taylor came to power. Initially, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) provided the settlement’s residents with individual aid and relief.
In 1997, however, Liberia held elections that the UN judged to be fair enough to allow for safe repatriation conditions. As a result, the UNHCR discontinued refugee assistance to Liberians in Ghana, and the settlement lost much of its funding.During this time, an estimated 3,000 refugees returned to Liberia. Most chose to remain in Ghana, however, and the Buduburam settlement served as the center of their community.
Soon after the 1997 elections, the political situation in Liberia worsened, and fresh arrivals of Liberian refugees to Ghana led the UNHCR to return to Buduburam. Although the UNHCR limits its personal aid efforts in the settlement to unaccompanied minors, the elderly, and the disabled, the organization does sponsor infrastructure work within the community, funding projects such as construction and education.
Now host to over 42,000 refugees, most of whom are Liberian, the settlement still receives new refugees on a regular basis.
In February 2011, the Deputy Minister of Information in Ghana indicated that Buduburam is no longer needed and that the inhabitants should consider returning to Liberia or settling elsewhere in Ghana.
- Anna Boiko-Weyrauch, Future of Liberian Refugees in Ghana Uncertain, voanews.com, 3 December 2009
- "Home page". Carolyn A. Miller Elementary School. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
- "Government considers Buduburam Refugee camp closure". Modern Ghana. 24 February 2011. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
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