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UN Uganda receives US$ 6 million from Japan to support efforts towards refugees and host communities

The Government of Japan has announced a contribution of US$ 6 million to the United Nations to support refugees and host communities in Uganda over a period of one year from March 2018 to March 2019. The support will go to four UN agencies including; the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), World Food Programme (WFP), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

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, Management and Refugees, Hon. Hillary Onek, during a press conference held at the Office of the Prime Minister in Kampala. The UN Resident Coordinator & UNDP Resident Representative, Ms. Rosa Malango also addressed the press conference. UNHCR Representative, Mr. Joel Boutroue; WFP Representative, Mr. El Khidir Daloum; and Acting FAO Representative, Ms. Priya Gujadhur, were also present at the press conference.

“Uganda has been spearheading the exemplary refugee assistance model despite being constantly challenged by the large influxes of refugees from the neighboring countries. Cognizant of its Government’s open-door policy and protection of the asylum space in the country, as well as its effort and the ever-increasing burden to assist refugees, Japan has been providing support to alleviate the burden on the host communities. With the newly contributed funding through the UN agencies, Japan continues to support refugees and communities hosting them, and bridge the gap between the humanitarian and development assistance” said Ambassador Kameda.

“The Government of Japan has been a consistent contributor to support refugees and host communities in Uganda over the past few years. In addition to the US$ 10 million contributed at the Uganda Solidarity Summit on Refugees in June last year, Japan has now contributed US$ 6 million. On behalf of the Government of Uganda, I would like to thank the Government of Japan for the contribution and I call on other development partners to contribute because there are still many outstanding refugee needs that require funding,” said Hon. Onek.

“I would like to thank the Government of Japan for consistently providing much-needed assistance to refugees and host communities. With the support received last year UN agencies provided services in public health; water, sanitation, life-saving food assistance , livelihood support and created emergency employment for refugees and host communities. With the assistance provided this year, Japan has again shown unique commitment to the humanitarian and development nexus approach in Uganda by being the first country to fund two UN humanitarian agencies, UNHCR and WFP; and two UN development agencies, UNDP and FAO,” said Ms. Malango.

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 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 1.4 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.

UNHCR-Has received US$ 3,000,000 to provide services in public health; protection from crime (including support to community policing in the settlements); child protection (including case management of children at risk, and appropriate care arrangements for separated children/unaccompanied minors); prevention and response to sexual and gender based violence (SGBV); improvement of refugee reception conditions; and self-reliance and livelihood opportunities. These projects are expected to directly and indirectly benefit up to 2,115,146 people both from the refugee and host communities in the South West and West Nile regions of Uganda.

UNDP-Has received US$ 1,500,000 to create emergency employment for refugees and hosting communities, through cash for work interventions; provide business skills training and start up grants for microenterprise development; and support access to markets for small enterprises, focusing on women and youth. To support an enabling environment, the project will also contribute to capacity building efforts of district local governments through strengthening the district disaster management committees and building an evidence base for integrated planning and budgeting. The project is expected to benefit over 6,000 refugees and host communities, besides local government structures, in Arua, Yumbe and Moyo districts. Building on UNDP’s preceding partnership with the Government of Japan in 2016 and 2017, it aims at further strengthening the humanitarian-development nexus in responding to the refugee crisis in West Nile.

WFP-Has received US$1,000,000 to assist refugees in Uganda with food and livelihood support. WFP will provide life-saving food assistance to refugees as they arrive in Uganda and nutrition support to more than 333,000 refugees to prevent and treat malnutrition. While hot meals to new arrivals and enhanced nutritional support will remain necessary in the short and medium term, WFP also participates in joint activities with UNHCR and OPM to increase refugee self-reliance through support to agricultural livelihoods, to provide more sustainable solutions. WFP will use some of this contribution to provide tailored livelihood support to some 25,000 households in select refugee hosting districts, targeting both refugees and host communities. This project aims to reduce post-harvest losses and improve food security by providing farmers with food storage equipment and related training. Government of Japan’s support will enable WFP to continue this activity for a more holistic approach to refugee livelihoods to improve refugee food security and access to basic needs.

FAO-Has received US$ 500,000 to support livelihood systems for South Sudanese refugees in Yumbe and Moyo districts. FAO will contribute to increasing household income, creating more on-farm employment opportunities and introducing climate-smart agricultural practices in host communities and refugee settlements. The project is expected to directly benefit 290 host community households and 590 refugee households in these districts. Host communities will benefit from the introduction of fast-maturing, high value crops (such as fortified beans, sweet potatoes and maize), improved irrigation systems and diversified farming practices for effective use of land. FAO will support South Sudanese refugees to establish small vegetable gardens and poultry units to increase income and nutritional outcomes from the consumption of animal protein and fresh vegetables. These interventions aim to enhance the resilience of host community and refugees as well as improve household food security and nutrition.

UN Agencies in Uganda