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Japan contributes US$ 7.5 million to support efforts towards refugees and host communities in Uganda

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

The Government of Japan has announced a contribution of US$ 7.5 million to the United Nations to support refugees and host communities in Uganda over a period of one year from March 2019 to March 2020. The support will go to five UN agencies including; the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the World Food Programme (WFP), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Office for Project Service (UNOPS).

The official announcement was made by the Ambassador of Japan to the Republic of Uganda, H.E. Kazuaki Kameda in the presence of the Minister of Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, Hon. Hillary Onek, during a press conference held at the Uganda Media Center in Kampala. The IOM Chief of Mission, Mr. Ali Abdi, also addressed the press conference on behalf of the UN System in Uganda. UNHCR Deputy Representative, Ms. Mahoua Parums; WFP Deputy Country Director Mr. Ryan Anderson; UNICEF Chief Field Operator, Mr. Stefano Pizzi; and UNOPS Partnership Specialist, Ms. Fumie Arimizu, were also present at the press conference.

“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 allocated US$2.8million for the activities of a number of Japanese NGOs which have presence in Uganda more than two years to actively deal with protection issues for refugee children and other vulnerable people,” said Ambassador Kameda.

“The assistance from Japan will foster Delivering as One by the United Nations Systems in Uganda through drawing on the benefits of UN agencies working together and complementing each other through their different mandates to achieve the same goal,” said Mr. Abdi on behalf of the United Nations.

“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 continue to extend to the Republic of Uganda in terms of Humanitarian Support, Development Assistance and Technical support,” said Hon. Onek.

The assistance will be provided as part of implementation of the Refugee and Host Population Empowerment (ReHoPE) strategy, a transformative strategy which brings together a wide range of partners including the Government of Uganda, UN agencies, World Bank, development partners and the private sector to enhance self-reliance and resilience of refugees and host communities in Uganda. ReHoPE is an integral component of the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) and is in line with the New York Declaration on Refugees and Migrants.

Uganda is the largest refugee hosting country in Africa with more than 1.2 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.

UNHCR has received US$ 2,000,000 to respond to immediate protection needs at reception, collection, transit and registration centres countrywide. The protection needs to be addressed include registration and legal assistance; provision of semi-permanent shelter and latrines to persons with specific needs (PSNs); and livelihoods assistance (to mainly South Sudanese) in support of the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework in Uganda. The funds will specifically support: provision of basic needs and essential services of new and recent arrival refugee populations; support the favorable protection environment for refugees and asylum seekers in the settlements hosting South Sudanese refugees; and collaborate with JICA to improve self-reliance and livelihoods of refugees and host communities.

WFP has received US$ 2,000,000 to support livelihoods of 20,000 households (100,000 people) among South Sudanese refugees in the West Nile and Acholi regions, as well as Ugandans living in the host communities. Working through NGO partners, WFP will build capacities of farming households to reduce food loss and expand market access opportunities. This assistance will include the provision of subsidized modern household silos. WFP will also support the building of community assets that will be jointly identified with districts and aligned with district development plans, using cash transfers. Cash transfers will create an extra source of income for the assisted families while reinforcing cohesion between refugees and their Ugandan neighbours. This will contribute to building resilience of households and the expansion of national social protection programmes in Uganda.

IOM has received US$ 1,000,000 to enhance comprehensive border management for a strengthened response to emergency mass migration and identification of individual security threats in Uganda. The funds will specifically support: Improvement of preparedness and response capacity of the GoU and humanitarian partners; enhancement of health emergency preparedness and responses due to strengthened health border management system; and improved border security in Uganda through increased capacity to prevent, detect and report border threats.

UNICEF has received US$ 800,000 to contribute to a reduction in the potential of life threatening water borne diseases and create a conducive environment for learning in schools and safe delivery of children in health facilities through provision of WASH services. The funds will specifically support: provision of small-scale institutional solar-powered water supply facilities in 7 schools and 3 health centres providing critical, but overstretched services for 2,200 women and girls; construction of child-friendly drainable latrines and handwashing stations in 7 schools and 3 health centres with overstretched services for 2,200 women and girls; setting up operation and maintenance systems for WASH facilities managed by schools and health management committees for 4,400 people; training of institutional WASH management structures (100 school management committees and health unit management committees) on hygiene promotion and operation and maintenance of WASH facilities in schools and health facilities; training of 40 hand pump mechanics and technicians in the repair and maintenance of water and sanitation systems and promotion of sanitation and hygiene practices in the 30 catchment villages of the targeted schools and health facilities.

UNOPS has received JPY 183,000,000 (approximately US$ 1.7 million) to support the integration, growth and economic development of refugees and host communities in Arua through the construction of a bridge on Nyara River. UNOPS and the Government of Japan signed the agreement on 19th February 2019. Work has already begun in Arua, where a team will be conducting site assessments and stakeholder meetings in April.

UN Agencies in Uganda