Close sites icon close
Search form

Search for the country site.

Country profile

Country website

Ugandan Government and UNHCR announce verification and profiling of asylum seekers and refugees

Press releases

Ugandan Government and UNHCR announce verification and profiling of asylum seekers and refugees

21 October 2021
Uganda. Verification exercise for refugees
A registration official checks the biodata of a refugee during a verification exercise in Oruchinga settlement, Uganda

The Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, announced today the launch of a joint verification and profiling of over 1.5 million asylum seekers and refugees in Uganda.

Speaking ahead of the official launch of the exercise, Hon Esther Anyakun, Uganda’s Minister of State for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees said, “This is an important periodical exercise that enables us to get the exact facts and figures about refugee population on our soil to guide us on how to respond better."

Specifically, the exercise seeks to validate and update the biodata of asylum seekers and refugees in the country and provide them with new identification documents, in addition to gathering information socio-economic data.

Verification and profiling began on 18 October 2021 in Oruchinga, a settlement in Isingiro district, home to some 8,200 refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Rwanda and Burundi, with smaller numbers from South Sudan. Carried out in a phased approach, the exercise will then launch in Nakivale settlement in mid-November and gradually move to other refugee-hosting areas. 

According to the plan, OPM and UNHCR will conclude this operation in the third quarter of 2022.

“I can’t stress enough the importance of this exercise for ensuring refugee protection,” said Joel Boutroue, UNHCR’s  Representative to Uganda, “Valid documents are essential to ensure refugees can enjoy their rights and access assistance and social services.”

Verification will run jointly with individual profiling of asylum seekers and refugees, a survey designed to gather information about their education, income, occupation and specific needs or vulnerabilities. 

“This data will be invaluable to tailor programmes for the most vulnerable and inform more development-oriented interventions that are likely to unlock economic self-reliance and resilience,” said Boutroue adding “evidence-based and data-driven decision-making is critical to achieve a comprehensive refugee response, especially in a context of insufficient resources.” 

The most recent verification of asylum seekers and refugees in Uganda took place in 2018. 

“Back then we committed to undertake this exercise more regularly in a bid to enhance accountability and efficient use of resources in the refugee response,” said Minister Anyakun.  

Hon. Anyakun thanked UNHCR and partners, for the support in undertaking the verification exercise.

Uganda is Africa’s largest refugee-hosting country. The vast majority are from South Sudan (933,089), DRC (442,792) and Burundi (51,410) with 94 % living in rural settlements and 6 % in Kampala. 

Since the launch of the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework in 2017, the government has included refugees in its national development plans and endorsed sector plans to improve the delivery of social services in refugee-hosting districts, including education, health, water and environment, and jobs and livelihoods. Uganda is the only refugee-hosting country that has developed comprehensive plans in these sectors and calls for contributions from the international community to support it in its efforts.

For more information, please contact:

OPM, Julius Mucunguzi, Advisor and Head of Communications, +256 776 210307, [email protected]

UNHCR, Wendy Kasujja, Assistant Reporting Officer, +256 780 143854, [email protected]