KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 23 — It is estimated that over 20,000 refugees have yet to register with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan said that he was informed about the matter during a courtesy call from the UNHCR Representative in Malaysia, Thomas Albrecht, at his office today.

They also discussed, among other things, the vaccination exercise for UNHCR cardholders in line with the National Covid-19 Immunisation programme, beginning tomorrow and scheduled to roll out in three phases.

“The immunisation programme is expected to cover 70 per cent of the population of the country by 2022. It would also be extended to the UNHCR cardholders to ensure that there are no Covid-19 clusters among them.

“Several countries have also expressed their preparedness to bear the cost of immunisation for UNHCR cardholders,” he said in a statement here today.

As at December last year, there are 178,610 refugees and asylum seekers registered with the UNHCR office in Malaysia. Of the total, 154,030 are from Myanmar, including 102,250 Rohingyas, 22,140 Chins and the remainder from other ethnic groups.

Hence, Saravanan said that the involvement of UNHCR to disseminate information in the field is crucial for the success of the immunisation programme, apart from participation from ministries and government agencies. — Bernama