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European Union and UNHCR reaffirm strong support to Ugandan refugee response

European Union and UNHCR reaffirm strong support to Ugandan refugee response

29 March 2023
Uganda. European Union and UNHCR reaffirm strong support to Ugandan refugee response
(from back left-right) Myriam Ferran, the European Union (EU) Deputy Director General for International Partnerships (EU-INTPA), UNHCR's Assistant High Commissioner (Operations) Raouf Mazou, EU Ambassador to Uganda Jan Sadek and Uganda's Minister for Disaster Preparedness and Refugees Esther Anyakun Davinia, at a briefing at the Rubondo health centre in the Nakivale settlement, south-western Uganda.

During a visit by EU and UNHCR officials to the Nakivale refugee settlement, in southwestern Uganda, the EU representative announced an additional EUR 15 million funding to support the Ugandan refugee response in partnership with UNHCR.

The announcement was made during a joint EU-UNHCR visit to Uganda, led by Myriam Ferran, Deputy Director General of the EU’s Directorate-General for International Partnerships, and UNHCR’s Assistant High Commissioner for Operations, Raouf Mazou. The visit aimed at reaffirming EU and UNHCR’s appreciation of Ugandan’s open-door policy for refugees and the country’s leadership in promoting refugee inclusion.

Over the next three years, this additional funding of EUR 15 million, or UGX 61 billion, will notably contribute to strengthening policy, data and evidence, as well as improving the integration of refugees into public service across sectors such as education, health, water and sanitation, and environment. The new allocation is part of ongoing efforts to support initiatives by the Ugandan government to provide solutions for refugees, and strengthen the alignment of humanitarian and development assistance for greater sustainability of the refugee response.”

The ongoing conflict in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the protracted humanitarian situation in South Sudan, and the effects of climate change throughout the region have continued to force people to seek safety in Uganda, with more than 17,000 people arriving in the country since the start of 2023, alone. 

“Uganda has generously welcomed people forced to flee going back decades, and the country is widely regarded as a global model for implementing the Global Compact on Refugees,” said Myriam Ferran. “Our additional support will contribute to improving the inclusive approach which is essential in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and effective protection of refugees and support to the host community.”

“This funding from the EU is critical to support refugee-hosting areas and is needed now more than ever,” said UNHCR’s Raouf Mazou. “Uganda has demonstrated immense generosity to refugees. We continue to appeal for more international solidarity – including from development institutions – to step-up support and ensure the well-being and dignity of refugees and their local communities.”

Nearly 1.5 million refugees, most of them from the DRC and South Sudan, live in Uganda, making it the largest refugee-hosting country in Africa and the third largest globally.

Uganda is also one of the co-conveners for this year’s Global Refugee Forum, which will be held in Geneva in December 2023, to bring together global leaders and stakeholders to discuss concrete solutions to address the pressing needs of refugees and host communities.

The new funding partnership between the EU, UNHCR, and the Ugandan government stands out as an example of the kind of humanitarian-to-development support that the Global Refugee Forum seeks to promote.  

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