Libreville- Gabon (PANA) -- Gabon is issuing new identity cards to refugees who have been granted refugee or asylum status in the country to enable them benefit from opportunities in various areas, an official disclosed here.
This card, however, does not entitle the refugees to vote, the permanent secretary of the National Commission for Refugees, Philippe Kombila noted.
The refugee ID card will ensure international administrative and legal protection as well as entitle holders to work, health care and schooling, among other benefits, Kombila explained.
He said Gabonese authorities were dealing with five different organisations in issuing documentation for refugee or asylum status.
"Now refugees can produce a single ID card with a credit card format containing the information the administrative authorities need," Kombila told PANA in an interview.
There are an estimated 12,774 refugees in Gabon, 80 percent of whom are Congolese, according to official figures.
The records show that 3,942 of the refugees are of 25 nationalities, while of the 12,774 refugees, 5,645 are women and 7,129 men.
About 7,391 of the refugees are within the age bracket of 18 and 59 years.