Refugees in Rwanda’s Nyabiheke Refugee Camp have asked the government and other leaders to help reduce teen pregnancies in the camp. The camp, which has hosted Congolese refugees since 2005, is now home to nearly 17,000 refugees. Overcrowding is a key concern, and refugee representative Justin Byiringiro cites teen pregnancy as a driving force of the problem. “The overpopulation in the camp favors early [teen] pregnancies. Some students graduate from secondary schools but a very limited number are advancing to universities while others are dropping out of schools,” he explained.

While Byiringiro believes that vocational training programs will help prevent teen pregnancy, government officials are advocating for investment in family planning programs. Jeanne d’Arc De Bonheur, the Minister for Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs, believes “reproductive health and family planning will surely be a durable solution to the issue.” Organizations like the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) are supporting family planning in Rwandan refugee camps, but significant unmet need remains.

 

– Anna Katz, Communications Intern

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