KAMPALA —The Government of Japan has donated USD 4.1 million to support refugees and host communities, as well as border security in Uganda over a period of one year from April 2020 to March 2021.
The support has been extended to four UN agencies: the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
The contribution was made on Wednesday October 7 H.E. Kameda Kazuaki, the Ambassador of Japan to the Republic of Uganda, during a press conference at the Uganda Media Center in Kampala.
“While recognizing the serious impact of displacement on vulnerable groups such as women and children, the Government of Japan has been extending financial support to address the humanitarian crisis, having consistently paid close attention to the plight of Uganda’s local communities hosting refugees, most of which already lag behind the rest of the country in economic and social development. I am pleased to announce a fresh contribution by the Government of Japan through several UN Agencies in the same spirit. In addition, Japanese Government has provided emergency funding of more than US$ 1.4 million in June this year through UNICEF for the provision of supplies as well as essential healthcare services targeting children and women in the face of the rapidly increasing demand due to the spread of COVID-19,” said Ambassador Kameda.
Hilary Onek, Minister of Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, who attended the press conference said, “The Government of Uganda is proud to be associated with the Government of Japan. We are appreciative of the Partnership and support that the Government of Japan continues to extend to the Republic of Uganda in terms of Humanitarian Support, Development Assistance and Technical support.”
Speaking on behalf of the UN system in Uganda, the UNDP Resident Representative, Ms Elsie G. Attafuah, said, “This assistance is significant for the United Nations not just because it was extended at the beginning of the year for us to kick start the operation of the year, but also came at the right moment when the global pandemic started to impact across the world on humanitarian and development interventions both from the funding and operational perspectives. The contribution helped us continue delivering critical activities in Uganda to support the government and help the people on the ground.”
Present at the press conference were representatives of the involved UN agencies: Mr Sanusi Tejan Savage (IOM Uganda Chief of Mission); Mr Joel Boutroue (UNHCR Representative); and Dr. Viorica Berdaga (UNICEF Chief Child Survival and Development).
The assistance has been provided as part of implementation of the Comprehensive Refugee Response (CRRF) in Uganda and the Global Compact on Refugees, a strategy which under the Government’s leadership coordinated a wide range of stakeholders including UN agencies, International Financial Institutions, development and humanitarian partners and the private sector to sustain Uganda’s settlement transformative agenda and non-camp refugee management policies.
Uganda is the largest refugee hosting country in Africa with more than 1.4 million refugees and asylum- seekers. Majority of the refugees and asylum seekers in Uganda originate from South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi. Uganda’s refugee laws and policies are among the most progressive in the world. Refugees and asylum seekers are entitled to work, have freedom of movement and can access social services.
IOM: Has received US$ 240,145 to contribute to reduce transnational security threats while increasing border security and regular migration in Uganda. The intervention primarily supports the Government of Uganda, and specifically the Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration control (DCIC), to improve immigration procedures through the elaboration of work permit, citizenship guidelines and visa policy. Furthermore, maritime security is to be strengthened through the provision of border patrol assets and training of border officials assigned to lake patrol.
UNDP: Has received US$727,272 to foster humanitarian, development, and peacebuilding nexus for resilience efforts towards refugees and host communities in Northern Uganda. The project contributes to the comprehensive refuge eresponse in the country which is based on the UN Refugee and Host Population Empowerment (ReHoPE) framework. In particular, UNDP is able to expand gender responsive livelihood opportunities and strengthen the capacity of refugees and host communities to sustainably manage environmental resources.
UNDP is also able to strengthen central governance coordination in implementing the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) Action Plan and strengthen the capacity of local governments to engage into the refugee response.
UNHCR Has received US $1,237,754 towards the provision of minimum health care package in Bidibidi refugee settlement and promotion of livelihood opportunities for refugees and host communities through UNHCR-JICA cooperation on rice promotion in Rhino Camp and Adjumani settlements. The project is implemented within the context of the CRRF. The fund specifically supports the continuation of UNHCR-JICA cooperation on rice promotion and multiplication for both refugees and host communities; support the management of 14 health facilities to provide adequate quality and lifesaving health care services including management of medical referrals to secondary and tertiary health facilities in and outside the settlement and supporting preparedness and response for disease outbreaks.
UNICEF Has received US$454,545 to help improve children’s health and protection in Adjumani, a refugee-hosting district in Northern Uganda in March 2020. With the funds received, UNICEF is supporting the Government of Uganda to provide over 6,500 beneficiaries with water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services, and by supporting the construction of WASH facilities in two health centers and two schools. In June 2020, UNICEF further received US$1,428,300 to support Uganda’s National COVID19 Response Plan through the provision of critical medical and water, sanitation and hygiene supplies, along with support to risk communication, community engagement, and essential service delivery with a focus on health, nutrition and child protection.
To date, this critical support helped procure 70 oxygen concentrators, 50 pulse oximeters, vaccines for refugee children, and critical WASH supplies to 56 health centers in the refugee-hosting districts of Kikuube and Isingiro. In addition, 293 medical staff were trained and are providing mental health and psychosocial support.