Get our newsletter delivered directly to your inbox
I have already subscribed | Do not show this message again
Your email has been successfully registered.
Since January, Uganda has received over 35,000 refugees, a third of whom arrived in the past three weeks from the DRC, fleeing intense fighting in the North Kivu and Ituri provinces.
Relief agencies in Uganda say urgent funds are needed to cater to the critical needs of thousands of refugees fleeing fighting in the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and sporadic clashes in South Sudan.
The number of refugees fleeing into the country since January has reached more than 50 percent of the anticipated 67,000 new arrivals by end of this year. Since January, Uganda has received more than 35,000 refugees, a third of whom arrived in the past three weeks from the DRC, fleeing intense fighting in the North Kivu and Ituri provinces.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) office and 44 other relief agencies in the country on April 29 launched an emergency appeal of US$47.8 million to cover a three-month initial urgent response for an influx of up to 60,000 refugees.
Esther Anyakun, Uganda's Minister of State for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugee, said the funds are needed to provide urgent assistance to new arrival refugees, mainly women and children in dire need of protection. Uganda continues to offer safe asylum to people fleeing, making it the largest refugee-hosting country in Africa.
UNHCR Representative in Uganda Joel Boutroue said the country's asylum policy must continue to be supported generously. The emergency funds will be used to cater for protection, food, shelter and essential household items. Funding will also support urgently needed healthcare supplies, and water, sanitation and hygiene services.
The funding appeal comes at a time when Uganda's response to more than 1.5 million refugees in the country is critically underfunded. An interagency report said as of the end of March, only US$41 million had been received against the country's refugee response plan of US$804 million in funding needs for 2022.
Currently, there are regional efforts to pacify mineral-rich eastern DRC, which has faced decades of war. Regional leaders at a recent meeting in Nairobi directed all armed groups in the DRC to participate unconditionally in the political process to resolve their grievances. They also directed that a regional force be deployed to fight rebel insurgency in the country.
The DRC is engaged in peace talks with the different warring parties in the eastern part of the country. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame said a regional approach is needed to address the Congolese situation.
"This time we must insist on working together because these people have suffered a lot. I told President Kenyatta that if we don't come in as a region, Congo may become like Sudan," Museveni said.
Former child soldiers from Uganda and Sierra Leone are being recruited by private security firms to carry out a U.S. mission in Iraq. pic.twitter.com/hcwRH9yAYm