Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Prospect of a Uganda Refugee Crisis

UN funding appeals for refugees remain grossly underfunded, leaving millions of refugees in destitute conditions, and dismally few resettlement places are being offered, contrary to international obligations for responsibility-sharing among states.

With more than 900,000 South Sudanese refugees already on its territory, and with thousands more arriving each day, Uganda is facing one of the world's biggest refugee crisesUganda has kept its doors open to refugees against financial odds, but it is buckling under the pressure and needs global support.

Over 64 percent of the refugees from South Sudan in Uganda are children under the age of 18. Many are at risk and in need of urgent support

Known and praised for its progressive refugee policy,  refugees are given pieces of land to live on and farm, and have equal access to basic services as citizens, including healthcare and education. They also have the right to work and own businesses. The authorities aim for refugees to be self-sufficient within five years - and to no longer have to rely on aid agencies.
Yet the international community has still failed to provide Uganda and its refugees with adequate support. By May 2017, the South Sudan Refugee Response Plan for Uganda was only 15 percent funded. In 2016, it was funded up to 51.4 percent. Not only does this lack of funding risk the sustainability of Uganda's progressive refugee policy, it also has a direct and devastating impact on refugees' lives.
Now, instead of full support to live in dignity in Uganda, many South Sudanese have been left struggling to cope. Even the most vulnerable, such as trauma victims with urgent mental health needs, have been neglected. Despite appeals by the Ugandan government, the United Nations and aid agencies have fallen on deaf ears.

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