UNHCR needs Shs1.6 trillion to support refugees in Uganda

The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) needs Shs1.6 trillion to support refugees in Uganda next year.

Uganda is home to 1.1 million refugees with 90 percent from South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

According to the agency’s budget report for 2019, the money will be used to expand education services, environmental protection and livelihood programmes.

“UNHCR’s main priorities for 2019-20 will be to ensure significant expansion in education, environment and livelihoods, as well as maintain quality protection interventions and continue to strengthen accountability and risk management,” the budget report reads in part.

Uganda has been lauded globally for its progressive refugees’ policy.

The multi-stakeholder approach has boosted self-reliance among refugees and extended services to host communities.

Initially, records indicated that Uganda hosts 1.4 million refugees but a joint investigation by government and UNHCR released in October revealed that the figures had been inflated by 300,000 people. The report clarified that only 1.1 million refugees had been verified.

In a statement released last month, responding to report on the inflated refugee figures and misuse of donor funds, UNHCR said it had put in place measures to curb corruption and ensure accuracy in recorded figures.

UNHCR said it has established a high-level dialogue with the Office of the Prime Minister and other government authorities on the audit findings, regarding the recovery of stolen money as may be needed.

The agency further revealed that fuel cards and vehicle tracking have been introduced for implementation in 2019 and a task force set up to review projects implemented by the Office of the Prime Minister.

Most refugees reside in designated refugee settlements located across 11 districts Uganda. Uganda allows freedom of movement of refugees.

The country also accords them the right to work and access national social services.


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