Uganda will tomorrow join the rest of the world to mark World Refugee Day. The day is marked on June 20 every year and was set aside to remember millions of people who are forced to live away from their homes. More than 65 million people around the world live as refugees asylum seekers migrants or internally displaced persons. Among them are more than 21 million refugees, over half of whom are under the age of 18. Many of these refugees flee instability in their respective countries.
The vast majority of the world’s refugee population is hosted by developing countries. Uganda is at the forefront of these efforts. With its long history of hosting refugees, Uganda keeps its door open to those fleeing persecution in their own countries. Since mid-2016, the population of refugees in Uganda has more than doubled to over 1,2 million and with refugees arriving from South Sudan at a rate of more than 2,000 per day, the number is steadily increasing. Uganda is experiencing one of the fastest growing refugee crises in the world.
The European Union has stood beside Uganda and funds 47% of the humanitarian response to the South Sudan emergency. The Refugee Day comes at a time when Uganda is preparing to host the Uganda Solidarity Summit on Refugees, due this week on June 22 and 23.
The Summit is expected to mobilize not only political and financial support to meet the needs of refugees and host communities, but will also create new partnerships, investments and ideas enshrined in the United Nations’ Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF), a framework intended to ease pressure on countries hosting large numbers of refugees.