Saturday, April 01, 2017

Uganda, the best country for refugees

Almost 400,000 people have fled to Uganda since July when violence resumed in South Sudan. They are treated perhaps better than refugees anywhere in the world.

In the past, Ugandans have had to flee to other countries for their safety, says Godfrey Byaruhanga, co-ordinator of refugee services for the government. Now it their obligation to “return the good”. He added, “Most of our leaders have been refugees, so it has been easy for them to embrace this refugee policy,” he says.
in Uganda, refugees have the right to work and are entitled to the same social services as locals, including free primary education and healthcare. They are given small plots to farm in settlements scattered across northern Uganda, which the government does not call camps to emphasise the freedom of movement refugees have – and that they are welcome to stay.
This attitude is in contrast to other African countries struggling to cope with rising refugee numbers. In Kenya, home of the world’s largest and oldest refugee camp, Dadaab, refugees cannot legally work and their movements are limited. They also live under constant threat that the camp will close.
A recent study by the UN World Food Programme pointed out that refugees “benefit those countries that welcome them and give them what they need to build new lives”.

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