KAMPALA: The government of Uganda together with the United Nations are seeking to raise at least $2b (Shs7 trillion) to fund relief operations for the more 1.2 million refugees that the East African country is hosting at the two days’ Refugee Solidarity Summit slated for next month.
The summit to be co-chaired by President Museveni and UN Secretary General António Guterres, is expected to be attended by several other heads of state and dignitaries from international humanitarian organisations.
The two principals met and held discussions on the ongoing preparations on Thursday at the sidelines of the UK-Somalia Conference at Lancaster House in London.
They also discussed the crisis in South Sudan, which has forced more than 800,000 people to seek refuge in Uganda.
President Museveni, according to a statement issued by his Press Secretary, Ms Lindah Nabusayi, told Mr Guterres that he had been designated by the embattled South Sudan President Salva Kiir to “mediate the warring factions in the country.”
“I will use the IGAD monitoring report and work with the IGAD chairman, Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalgn to see that those who abuse the ceasefire are talked too,” Mr Museveni was quoted in the statement.
The crisis ensued last year following an assassination attempt against President’s Kiir’s nemesis and Vice President Dr Riek Machar who fled the country and is currently in South Africa.
Uganda is currently ranked as the second-largest refugee hosting country in the world after Turkey. The World Food Programme puts the monthly food requirement for the refugees to at least $12m (Shs42b).
According to UN agency for refugees, United Nations High Commission for Refugee (UNHCR), at least 1,000 refugees arrive in Uganda every day from South Sudan.
This is on top of the 215,309 from DR Congo last year; 38, 176 from Somalia; 40,874 from Burundi; 11,328 from Eritrea; 3,103 from Sudan; 2,790 from Ethiopia, and 1,034 listed in the ‘others’ category.
Last year alone, the government of Uganda and UN relief agencies spent an estimated $150m (Shs540b) on relief operations for the refugees hosted in 12 districts around the country.
In Kampala, preparation for the summit which was conceived by President Museveni and Mr Guterres early this year on the sidelines of the African Union Summit in Ethiopia, are being overseen by an inter-agency committed led by Office of the Prime Minister and ministry of Foreign Affairs.
©Alleastafrica and Daily Monitor