Kampala, Uganda | THE BLACK EXAMINER | The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has lauded Uganda for its open-door policy towards refugees, with Uganda maintaining its position as the primary destination for refugees in Africa. Innocent Ndahiriwe, the IGAD Uganda Coordinator, emphasized that this approach contributes to regional stability by deterring attacks from neighboring countries, as they have fewer incentives to provoke conflict.
Ndahiriwe emphasized the significance of Uganda’s role as a sanctuary for refugees, urging everyone to embrace these displaced individuals. He noted that this benevolent approach serves as a model, as Ugandans may someday seek refuge in other countries. These statements were made during a meeting with the Parliamentary Refugee Forum on October 25, 2023, at Hotel Africana in Kampala.
The UNHCR country representative, Mathew Crentsil, reported that there are currently 1,520,966 refugees and 47,271 asylum seekers in Uganda. This totals 1,568,738, with 52% being women and 48% being men. The statistics also reveal that 121,499 refugees (8% of the total) reside in urban areas, while the majority, 1,446,738 (92%), live in settlements. South Sudanese refugees make up 57% of this population, followed by Congolese refugees at 32%, with 11% originating from other countries.
Ndahiriwe praised Uganda’s efforts to enhance the refugee experience, emphasizing the improved infrastructure and favorable policies not found in other countries. He pointed out that Uganda stands out for treating refugees better than locals, in contrast to the discrimination and hardships refugees face in many other nations.
Hilary Onek, the Minister of Aid, Refugees, and Disaster Risk Reduction, urged the international donor community to increase funding for refugee projects in Uganda. Given the rising global tensions leading to increased refugee numbers, Onek stressed the need for enhanced mobilization and advocacy to secure more funding for refugee interventions. He also emphasized the importance of seeking local sources of funding alongside donor contributions.
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- Business Aggrey" is a 23-year-old Ugandan journalist and Editor-in-Chief at The Black Examiner newspaper
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