President Yoweri Museveni on Friday met with Jose Graziano da Silva, the Director General of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to devise a plan on improving refugee welfare.
FAO is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger.
The meeting follows a recent announcement by the United Nations High Commission for Refugee (UNHCR) that the number of South Sudanese refugees in neighboring countries had passed the one million mark.
During the meeting, among others the duo discussed matters relating to the refugee crisis in the region, more so making Uganda’s effort sustainable to help the refugees.
This was at State House, Entebbe.
Museveni called on the Director to not only look at agriculture as a means of sustaining refugees but also consider other services, like craftsmanship, that refugees can engage in to better their lives.
He said that handwork, including tailoring, knitting and weaving, does not need a lot of land but only small capital and skill.
“For us, our model allows refugees to move out of the camp and not make it a ghetto. Some Somali refugees are traders and truck drivers. If they have a skill that can allow them to circulate in the labour market in order to sustain themselves, then they can be mobile,” he said.
Museveni also informed the FAO Director that the government of Uganda was planning to use the money that was raised during the Refugees’ Solidarity Conference, to build health centers and schools in the refugee settlements.
Hosted by the Museveni alongside UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, the summit got over Shs1.2trn million pledges from the international community.
Graziano, in his remarks, revealed to the President that FAO is ready to help refugees in Uganda both financially and technically and also work with other international organizations to help with the refugees’ crisis.