UK Injects Ugshs 50bn into Addressing Uganda’s Refugee Problem

The UK government has committed Ugshs 50 Bn to support humanitarian work and innovations tailored towards safeguarding refugees hosted in Uganda. The funds will support activities for the year 2016.

On his visit to Uganda, ed the UK Parliamentary Under -Secretary of State for International Development Nick Hurd reaffirmed UK’s support for Uganda’s approach to refugee management despite the overwhelming numbers that arrive each month.

At least 10, price 000 refugees arrive in Uganda every month making Uganda the third biggest refugee host on the continent and eighth globally.

“The UK government applauds Uganda for its progressive approach to hosting its large refugee population. We look forward to continue promoting self-reliance and we shall be reliable partners. Uganda is showing exceptional leadership by providing refugees with real prospects for improved livelihoods and services, pilule hope and meeting their aspirations as well as the host communities,” he said on Thursday during an exhibition for innovations that are supporting refugees in Uganda.

The exhibition was also attended by the British High Commissioner in Uganda Alison Blackburne among other delegates.

UK Parliamentary Under -Secretary of State for International Development Nick Hurd speaking.

UK Minister Hurd however asked that the Ugandan government works towards creating a long term solution to the refugee question.

Currently Uganda hosts a total of 540,000 refugees and asylum seekers. In 2016, Uganda has so far received 65,000 refugees and asylum seekers majority originating from South Sudan, DR Congo and Burundi.

Speaking at the innovation exhibition on Thursday Minister of Relief and Disaster Preparedness Hillary Onek hailed Minister Hurd for his visit and commended UK for the support.

He highlighted Uganda’s efforts to improve refugees’ livelihoods among them allocating land for cultivation, ensuring their safety as well as integration within the host communities.

“As Uganda we recognize that refugees have the potential to spar economic growth it’s for the same reason that we skill them so that they can create an impact. We borrow Pan African approach and treat
them as our brothers. However refugees should not abuse this hospitality especially those from countries faced with insurgency,”

Ministers; Nick Hurd (UK) and Eng. Hillary Onek (Uganda) listen in as an exhibitor explains about scaling cost effective agricultural productivity.

He mentioned that government is acquiring a USD 50M soft loan from the World Bank to be able to address gaps in health, education and road infrastructure to improve the lives of the host communities.

“The refugees get better services while communities around them get impoverished. In Adjumani for example, local communities there gave in thousands of acres of their land to settle refugees. UNHCR set up facilities to benefit refugees but the locals are getting nothing,” Onek told journalists later at the event.

In addition, Onek revealed plans by United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) to provide each refugee family with a decent housing unit at a USD 600 cost among other initiatives.

Minister Onek was critical of the growing refugee influx saying that the government has been overstretched and there’s high chance that Uganda will not accommodate more displaced persons. He called on the international community to share the burden by relocating some of the refugees.

Earlier Thursday, Hurd met with Minister Hillary Onek, UN agencies and other humanitarian actors involved in creating solutions to the refugee situation in Uganda. Some of the innovations include agricultre, big data to track mobility, clean energy and social services.


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