UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi (L) and Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda addressing a news conference on Tuesday (Photo by Nixon Segawa / Chimpreports)
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi has highlighted the need for the international community to unanimously tackle the issue of the welfare of refugees than leaving it to the host country.
Grandi made the remarks during a joint press conference with Uganda’s Prime Minister, Ruhakana Rugunda in Kampala on Tuesday after visiting several refugee camps in the country.
In his remarks, Prime Minister Rugunda noted that it was a great pleasure hosting the UNHCR Commissioner who has just assumed his office choosing Uganda as one of the first priority countries to pay a courtesy visit.
“We have had very productive discussions on the state of refugees in Uganda and globally and we have also further agreed to more intensified corporation between UNHCR and Uganda plus the rest of the world to ensure that the issues that accompany the problem of refugees are tackled not just by the host country but by the international community,” Rugunda told the media.
He added that they have also agreed on a number of issues to pursue that will be promoting better living conditions for both the refugees and the host communities under a new program dubbed ‘Re-hope’.
The program looks at how best host countries can provide safety to refugees as well as providing life skills and building projects that will not only support refugees but also the host communities to benefit from being self sufficient.
“We have assured Mr. Grandi that Uganda will continue with her mission of welcoming refugees as many as possible, giving them the necessary tools and capacity so that we don’t only look at their safety while in Uganda but so that when they go back to their countries. They will be able to live better lives and make contributions to the stabilization and normalcy in their respective countries.”
In his address, Grandi appreciated Uganda for giving asylum to a large number of refugees in the world, especially those from neighboring countries like DR Congo and South Sudan.
“I appeal to the Prime Minister and his government to continue playing the role in pursuing peace because only peace will allow the conditions of these refugees to normalize; what we heard yesterday, the extreme violence against women and child has to stop because this is a grave offense to humanity.”
Grandi pledged that UNHCR will committee $31M of all its resources into Re-hope with hope that others funders will come on board.
“I understand World Bank has a $50M conventional loan that will also be of benefit to this program which will be used to provide education, food and opportunities to local communities.”