Saturday, September 10, 2022

The Refugee Needs in Uganda

 Uganda promotes peaceful coexistence and refugee settlement among host communities. Refugees are provided with plots of land for housing and cultivation. Refugees and host communities access the same health facilities, and their children attend schools together.

But refugee self-reliance and economic inclusion are now at risk due to severe underfunding for UNHCR’s operations in the country.

At the start of 2022, Uganda was already hosting over 1.5 million refugees, making it one of the most important refugee host countries in the world and the largest on the African continent.  This year, so far, another 96,000 refugees have fled to Uganda mainly from South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

By the end of August, UNHCR had received just 38 per cent of its 2022 funding requirement of US$343.4 million to respond to the needs of refugees in Uganda. The funding gap has strained UNHCR’s capacity to provide critical support, including basic humanitarian assistance. 

Refugees are seeing a s reduction in support for income-generating activities, including for agricultural inputs that are critical to cultivating allocated land. Children face a high risk of dropping out of school as UNHCR will be unable to pay teachers’ salaries, and already crowded classrooms will increase in size. With no more funding to procure personal hygiene kits for women and girls, their health and access to education will be negatively affected. UNHCR cannot afford to purchase new stocks of medicines for health centres, while progress in reducing child and maternal mortality will regress, and infant malnutrition will increase.

UNHCR and its partners need urgent financial contributions to meet the urgent needs of new refugee arrivals in Uganda, to upgrade the reception capacity and basic infrastructure of refugee settlements and prioritize the relocation of refugees to more suitable facilities. Kisoro, in southwest Uganda, has received most new arrivals from the DRC. At the Nyakabande transit centre, refugees – overwhelmingly women and children – face substandard and crowded conditions which expose them to risks, including gender-based violence.

Nearly 100,000 refugee arrivals in Uganda face a silent emergency, enormous needs - Uganda | ReliefWeb

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