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US gives Uganda Shs 95bn for refugee assistance

Refugees in Kamwenge

Refugees in Kamwenge

The US government has allocated more than $25 million (about Shs 95.3 billion) towards refugee and food security assistance to Uganda.

The aid is channelled through its foreign development agency, USAID, and the Department of State. This is in addition to humanitarian funding to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the World Food Program (WFP) to assist refugees in the country "facing ongoing food insecurity and the compounding impacts of conflict in the region," said USAID spokesperson, Jessica Jennings.

USAID is providing $11 million to WFP, while the Department of State is contributing more than $14 million to UNHCR. 

"These additional contributions to WFP and UNHCR will support the provision of life-saving monthly food assistance, health care, education, and other emergency relief to the more than 1.6 million refugees that Uganda hosts," she said in a statement.

This comes as Uganda, Africa's largest host of refugees, has in recent months seen an increased influx of refugees. Last year alone, more than 130,000 new refugees crossed into the country, primarily fleeing conflicts in South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, and Sudan. The US urged other countries to also step up their humanitarian assistance to Uganda in these areas.

"This additional funding will be vital to meeting urgent needs in the country. We urge other donors to join us in stepping up to support WFP and UNHCR to assist the most vulnerable people affected by conflict and other crises throughout the region," Jennings said.

The government has recently forfeited several aid and credit packages as well as seen some leaders slapped with travel sanctions on claims around the human rights record of the country.

"The United States is committed to ensuring our assistance is provided without discrimination, including in Uganda, where we have significant concerns about the impact of the Uganda Constitutional court’s recent decision to uphold most aspects of the Anti-Homosexuality Act."

The US also urges that "Uganda’s government must protect the dignity of all people in the country."

The reduction in aid, however, began with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine has also led to relocation of the resources especially by the West.

"In 2018, around 170 dollars (155 euro) per year was spent on each refugee, today, it is only 85 dollars (77 euro)," according to Bruno Rotival, Head of Uganda at the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid Department (ECHO).

The EU allocated €27.5 million (about Shs 111.7 billion) for 2024, down from €30.5 million (Shs 124 billion) the previous year. 

"All operations around the world suffer from a funding gap. More acute crises receive more funds, while Uganda being a more stabilized country, perhaps suffers a little more in the provision of humanitarian aid!"

According to Rotival, Uganda was identified by the EU as a country in which to begin the transition from a system based on humanitarian aid to one based on development cooperation, however, the Russia-Ukraine has complicated the plan as the EU had to cut its overall humanitarian budget by 20 per cent.

Comments

+2 #1 Lysol 2024-04-15 19:20
Uganda created those refugees by destabilizing its neighbors in the first place, and now it's reaping from them. Refugees have become the cash cow of some of those banana republics.

Unfortunately, the fund maybe diverted to the state's coffers or embezzled by some corrupt officials.
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+1 #2 Asekereza james 2024-04-16 09:54
The United States government must monitor the 25 million dollar aid money (from US taxpayers) intended for the destitute refugees in Uganda such as those shown in the picture....Short of that, once they disburse it, the ugandan thieves who steal money in billions with impunity, will steal it !!

otherwise we are very thankful for the aid the US provides to African countries since most African leaders have become power mad [even needing medical help for that condition of megalomania] and are incapable of providing for their people..
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