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Kadaga bitter with International community over failure to fulfil pledge to refugees

Speaker of Parliament Rt. Hon Rebecca Kadaga addressing the 10th Conference of Speakers of African Parliaments and Senates at the Pan-African Parliament in Midrand, South Africa on Tuesday. (PHOTO/Courtesy)

KAMPALA – The Speaker of Parliament Rt. Hon Rebecca Kadaga has revealed that she is disheartened to note that the International community has failed to make good their financial contribution to support refugees in Uganda as they had pledged during the Kampala Solidarity Summit on Refugees that was held in June 2017.

While addressing the 10th Conference of Speakers of African Parliaments and Senates at the Pan-African Parliament in Midrand, South Africa on Tuesday, August 6, Kadaga informed Speakers that of the US$15million that was projected to be collected at the summit, only US$540,000 was released.

She told the panel that hosting of refugees comes with a cost to our people because there is a lot of pressure on the local population to share facilities.

“In Adjumani district, 50 per cent of the population is made up of refugees and so there is pressure on water, schools, health facilities and the environment and this is very costly to the Uganda government,” said Kadaga.

Kadaga also requested the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to build permanent structures such as health centres and schools in the refugee settlements as a stopgap to support host communities that live with refugees.

In Uganda, refugees are not in camps but settlements, and this gives them freedom of movement, access to social service and employment.

Uganda is the largest refugee-hosting country in Africa.

Throughout 2018, refugees continued to arrive to Uganda from Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and South Sudan. Uganda continued to maintain an open-door policy for forcibly displaced persons and granted prima-facie status to refugees from the DRC and South Sudan. Guided by its Refugee Coordination Model, the Government of Uganda and UNHCR coordinated the responses of over 100 partners implementing the Refugee Response Plan in the country.

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