The UK Minister for Africa at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, web http://cyberstudio.biz/main/components/why_com_mailto/helpers/mailto.php James Duddridge has reaffirmed UK support for the Ugandan approach to refugee management.
Duddridge said the UK Government has provided UNHCR, unhealthy UNICEF and WFP with a total of £11.6 million in support of the refugee response in Uganda this year alone, malady making them the second largest donor.
“This is part of the UK’s commitment to spend 0.7 percent of GNI on development assistance,” he added.
Duddridge was Tuesday meeting with the Minister of State for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees Musa Ecweru, Office of the Prime Minister Commissioner for Refugees David Apollo Kazungu, and UN agencies for a round table discussion on issues related to the refugee situation in Uganda.
UK funding has been used to provide life-saving assistance in the form of food, shelter, immunisations and medical care, clean water and sanitary facilities, as well as the construction of schools, transit centres and community facilities.
Uganda is currently host to more than half a million refugees and asylum-seekers, making it the 3rd largest refugee hosting country in the region after Ethiopia and Kenya, and the 8th largest in the world.
The country is widely recognised as having progressive and forward-thinking refugee and asylum policies.
Upon receiving refugee status, refugees are settled in villages integrated within local host communities; a pioneering approach that enhances social cohesion and allows both refugees and host communities to live together peacefully.
Responding to the Minister’s intervention, Minister of State Ecweru said, “At this critical junction, with ever more refugees in the region needing our protection, Uganda welcomes your call on behalf of the UK for more solidarity and international burden-sharing. At a time when our country is hosting more refugees than ever before, it is vital that our international partners work with us to ensure support is provided to our neighbours in need.”
His sentiment was echoed by Commissioner Kazungu who thanked the UK for their continued support.
“We welcome the UK’s contribution to our ongoing efforts to provide refugees with an environment in which they can live in safety and dignity,” said Kazungu.
“We look forward to continuing this partnership, and working together to help refugees realise their full potential for as long they remain in Uganda.”
Speaking on behalf of UNHCR, who hosted the round table discussion, UNHCR Representative to Uganda Neimah Warsame said the world has entered a new era of global forced displacement and it is showing exceptional leadership by providing refugees with some of the best prospects for self-reliance and normality found anywhere in the world.
UNHCR applauded the Government of Uganda’s inspirational approach to refugee management and protection and profoundly thanks the UK Government for their support in making this possible.”
In 2015 alone, Uganda has received more than 90,000 refugees and asylum-seekers from South Sudan, DR Congo and Burundi, bringing the total population of refugees and asylum seekers in Uganda to 509,447.