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Uganda’s Transformational Approach to Refugees and Host Communities – Dealing with Multiple Vulnerabilities

By the end of 2015, Uganda was host to the third-largest refugee population in Africa and in 2016 the number of refugees in Uganda has roughly doubled and it is likely that Uganda will reach one million refugees by the end of this year. Uganda’s refugee policy and approach to refugee protection and management is widely regarded as an inspirational model. Rather than being hosted in camps, refugees are settled in villages.

Uganda organized a High Level Side Event to engage representatives of Member States, business leaders and others on the margins of the CERF High Level Event.

The side event highlighted the opportunities and challenges faced by Uganda’s leaders and partners in implementing the transformational approach to addressing vulnerabilities and refugee and host community needs in the country. It will focued on experiences and approaches to date and highlight current response and gaps, inviting participants to consider investing in social infrastructure, combating climate variations, and sustainable water and harvest management in Uganda.

The High Level Side Event also highlighted the deteriorating vulnerability situation in Uganda because of a confluence of vulnerability factors such as: number of refugees and asylum seekers greatly exceeding the planned for numbers, increasing strain on the environment and social services in refugee-hosting communities, increasing food insecurity affecting the refugee-hosting districts and Karamoja, and continued instability in several of Uganda’s neighboring countries.

In Uganda, with an estimated population of 40 million, and a refugee population expected to reach 1 million, the country is also responding to considerable levels of food insecurity. Over 1.3 million Ugandans are facing severe shortages of food, scarcity of water and pasture as a result of failed rains.

Many of these communities are the same ones hosting refugees. If we are to prevent these communities from seeking humanitarian assistance, a new type of financing that focus on resilience through natural resource management, enhanced land and livestock management and improved service delivery is needed.

Below are the Links to the live events as they were aired on the UN WebTV

UN Agencies in Uganda