Government in search for USD 8 billion for refugees
The Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda told Parliament today that government is in a search for over USD 8 billion (UShs 28.8 tn)to support refugees and their host communities across the country.
The premier was briefing the House on the forthcoming two-day Uganda Solidarity Summit on Refugees, to be held on 22-23 this month in Kampala.
“With the pressure of the increasing numbers we are currently hosting, we call upon the international community to endeavor to match our efforts towards people who have lost the protection of their own countries,” said Rugunda.
Dr Rugunda stated that the funds will be used in the next four years, with an annual target of $ 2bn (Ugx 7.2 trillion) starting this year.
He also said that the funds would be realised through synergies at both national and international scale.
“It is critical that refugees and host communities are provided with an environment in which they co-exist in safety and in dignity,” he said.
Uganda today ranks among the topmost refugee host countries in Africa and the World, with a total of 1,200,000 refugees as of May 30, 2017, up from 500,000 refugees in 2016.
Despite the rising influx, the government has vowed to maintain an open border policy so as to allow entry of fleeing populations elsewhere.
“We have to keep our borders open to our brothers are sisters who are forced to flee their homes and countries due to war, starvation, violence and persecution,” said Rugunda
“We maintain this approach because we know no one chooses to become a refugee, but the turbulence the country faces at the moment,” he added.
The Uganda Solidarity Summit on Refugees, which is only three weeks away is expected bring together heads of government, heads of UN Agencies as well as other regional and international organisations, foundations and humanitarian agencies.
The summit will generate efforts towards meeting the needs of refugees and host communities through raising awareness and mobilising additional resources for Uganda to adequately address humanitarian needs.