By Tom Mugisha, firstname.lastname@example.org
KAMPALA: Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has asked the German government to give logistical support to refugees living in Uganda, who mostly from South Sudan.
The president, who was meeting the visiting German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Dr. Gerd Müller at State House Entebbe yesterday, said Uganda is able to handle the refugee crisis politically, she needs logistical support to prevent a humanitarian crisis.
“The only problem we have with the refugee crisis is that of logistics but compatibility is the same,” he said in a statement issued by State House on Thursday.
Uganda’s Minister for Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, Hon. Hilary Onek, said that the current number of refugees in Uganda stands at 1.4 million and 1,050,000 of these are South Sudanese. He said currently the World Food Programme (WFP) has challenges of feeding the refugees, as the resources are not enough
President Museveni told to the visiting German Minister that talks are ongoing to unite the various factions of the South Sudanese leaders.
“It is his [Museveni] hope that those talks will succeed so that the refugees can go back to their livelihood in their country before the planting season is out,” the statement reads.
Mr Museveni said some refugees do not have enough food. “The new refugees are being given two meals a day and the older ones one meal and this is not enough,” he said.
Minister Onek added that there is need for more schools and health centers in the refugee camps and areas.
“The Education ratio in schools is bad as pupils to teacher ratio is now at 300 to one teacher and that the health centers are not enough as government initially planned for Ugandans not the refugees,” he said.
Dr. Müller who is in Uganda to visit the refugee camps and see how best Germany can assist Uganda with the refugee crisis commended President Museveni and his government for the refugee policy.
He said that the German government is committed to helping Uganda address the refugee crisis. Germany contributed over US$50 million during the Refugee Summit Meeting held in Munyonyo in June this year.
Dr. Müller said that his government would partner with Uganda in vocational training to empower the refugees with skills to improve their livelihoods.