- Funding. The funding comes just days after the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Uganda announced that the number of South Sudanese refugees had reached 1 million.
Kampala. The European Union (EU) department for humanitarian aid and civil protection has doubled funding to International Organisation for Migration (IOM), to facilitate relief efforts to South Sudanese refugees in the West Nile districts of Yumbe and Moyo.
The Directorate General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), had initially pledged Euros1m (more than Shs4.2b) for water and sanitation projects in the two districts but given the continued influx of the refugees, committed another Euros1m.
ECHO resident representative, Isabelle D’Haudt said the new credit line is a show of solidarity with the government for its continued support to the refugees.
The funding will be channeled through IOM, the inter-governmental organisation specialising in migrants and internally displaced people, and its partner organisation, the Lutheran World Federation.
The total IOM funding in the two districts now stands at Euros2.229m (about Shs 9.4b).
IOM Uganda chief of mission, Ali Abdi, praised the EU and the government for its continued support for the South Sudanese refugees, especially as the influx keeps increasing every day.
“The EU has been an unwavering partner of the people of Uganda and of IOM, and we see yet again that the EU is coming in where help is critically needed,” Mr Abdi was quoted as saying in a statement issued by IOM’s public information officer, Mr Richard Kavuma.
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is in urgent need of $539m (about Shs2 trillion) to fully cope with the unprecedented influx.
Uganda is currently ranked in the 5th position of countries with the largest refugee population in the world, according to UNHCR’s 2016 estimates.
The new arrivals in the period since could, however, put Uganda among the top three countries behind Turkey which is still unparalleled.
President Museveni and UN Secretary General António Guterres, convened the ‘Solidarity Summit’ on June 23, to mobilise $2b (more than Shs8 trillion) to assist both the refugees and host communities managed collect only $358.6m (Shs1.25 trillion) in pledges.