MinBane

Helt ute av sporet (Okumala ekigwo okulyaku kya okuziga)

Archive for the tag “Ugandan Refugee Policy”

South Sudan refugees in Uganda pass 1 million mark, UNHCR renews call for help (18.08.2017)

Over the past 12 months, an average of 1,800 South Sudanese have been arriving in Uganda every day.

GENEVA, Switzerland, August 18, 2017 – UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is today reiterating its call to the international community for urgent additional support for the South Sudan refugee situation and Uganda in particular, where the number of refugees from South Sudan has now reached 1 million.

Over the past 12 months, an average of 1,800 South Sudanese have been arriving in Uganda every day. In addition to the million there, a million or even more South Sudanese refugees are being hosted by Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Central African Republic.

In Uganda, more than 85 per cent of the refugees who have arrived there are women and children (below 18 years in age). Recent arrivals continue to speak of barbaric violence, with armed groups reportedly burning down houses with civilians inside, people being killed in front of family members, sexual assaults of women and girls, and kidnapping of boys for forced conscription.

With refugees still arriving in their thousands, the amount of aid we are able to deliver is increasingly falling short. For Uganda, US$674 million is needed for South Sudanese refugees this year, but so far only a fifth of this amount (21 per cent) has been received. Elsewhere in the region, the picture is only marginally better – in all US$883.5 million is needed for the South Sudan situation, but only US$250 million has been received.

The funding shortfall in Uganda is now significantly impacting the abilities to deliver life-saving aid and key basic services. In June, the World Food Programme was forced to cut food rations for refugees. Across settlements in northern Uganda, health clinics are being forced to provide vital medical care with too few doctors, healthcare workers and medicines. Schooling, meanwhile is also being impacted. Class sizes often exceed 200 pupils, with some lessons held in the open air. Many refugee children are dropping out of education as the nearest schools are too far away for them to easily access.

Since December 2013, when South Sudan’s crisis erupted in Juba, more than two million South Sudanese have fled to neighbouring countries, while another two million people are estimated to be internally displaced.

Advertisements

President Museveni’s speech showed his real sentiment at the Uganda Solidarity Summit on Refugees 2017

I don’t believe that President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni hold the Refugee Summit in Kampala this week out of solidarity. It was of an operation to secure his state the lost funds that the state has to raise through loans. So yesterday he had the massive speech for the event, which had lot of information, but for me this passage was telling why he had the summit and what value the refugees really have for him. You wouldn’t see them as bargain chips if you didn’t say it this way. Why do I say that, the districts with the refugee camps are in his mind deserving infrastructure, not supported by the state, but by the International Community. Therefore, it was held to raise sufficient funds for the refugees, but if he could, he could sponge of the funds. Not like the National Resistance Movement (NRM), though he was speaking in the beginning of this passage like it is NRM Regime who pays of all infrastructure, but the World Bank and others are giving either grants or direct loans to infrastructure projects.

That is why I’m kind of not surprised of the real solidarity would be pay the bills for the President and his own pledges, instead of really helping the refugees. They are just needed people to gain popularity abroad and solidarity for ones fleeing for refugee in Uganda. Instead of looking into the draconian laws of Uganda, the oppressive behavior of the NRM or even famine made by lacking governance in many districts in Uganda itself. That is why I particular looks into this part of his speech from the Solidarity Summit, as these words prove the value of the summit for the President himself.

The hosting districts of Uganda should also be rewarded. Especially in the area of the road infrastructure, the government of Uganda is already doing most of the development required. On account of many demands, however, there are certain roads that over-night become of high demand because of the sudden big numbers in the area on account of the influx of refugees. There are, in particular, two roads that should be bituminized but the government is not yet able to take on. These are: Moyo-Yumbe-Koboko, in the neighbourhood of the famous Bidi Bidi camp in Yumbe district that is hosting 272,168 refugees today; and Kabiingo-Rugaaga-Magabi-Rakai that starts from the famous Nakivaale Refugee Settlement camp that looked after the Rwanda refugees between 1960 and 1994 and is still hosting different waves of subsequent refugees” (…) “The Uganda government will, eventually, do these roads. If, however, the International Community was to expedite that process and we informed our people in the areas, they would understand that their hospitality has not been in vain” (Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, 23.06.2017).

You can really tell that the President has significant plans for using the solidarity and raised funds for needed infrastructure. Ugandan government wants to use the refugee situation to get funds for national projects and roads. That it just happens to be between the Refugee Settlements in the Northern Uganda. Where the South Sudanese refugees are settled because of the civil war in South Sudan. Certainly, the political stalemate are the ones that even President Museveni is involved in. Therefore, him trying to use it for road development.

Clearly, his real sentiment is for road development not helping the refugees. That is why the districts should be rewarded, not by the state itself, but the international community. If you ever wonder where his heart was, you got it right there. It is not like President Museveni has the refugee settlement for charity, more for leverage and use to get solidarity since the direct donor funds to his government has dwindled over the recent decade. So he has found another trick to get raised funds for his pledges. Peace.

Theji Da Adwad Deng Letter: “Resignation from SPLM-IO and Declaration for Rejoining the SPLM Mainstream (IG)” – 23.03.2017

Joint statement on behalf of the Government of Uganda and UNHCR: ‘Breaking Point’ imminent: Government of Uganda, UNHCR say help for South Sudan refugee inflow urgently needed (23.03.2017)

This year alone, more than 172,000 South Sudanese refugees have fled to Uganda, with new arrivals in March averaging more than 2,800 daily.

GENEVA, Switzerland, March 23, 2017 – The Government of Uganda and UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi today jointly appealed to the international community for urgent and massive support for the thousands of South Sudan refugees who continue to arrive to Uganda every day, fleeing brutal conflict, compounded by the limited availability of food.

Uganda currently hosts more than 800,000 South Sudanese refugees. Among them are some 572,000 new arrivals who have poured into Uganda in desperate need of safety and help since 8 July 2016. With present rates of arrival, that figure will surpass a million before mid- 2017. This year alone, more than 172,000 South Sudanese refugees have fled to Uganda, with new arrivals in March averaging more than 2,800 daily.

“Uganda has continued to maintain open borders,” said Rt. Hon. Ruhakana Rugunda, Prime Minister of Uganda. “But this unprecedented mass influx is placing enormous strain on our public services and local infrastructure. We continue to welcome our neighbours in their time of need but we urgently need the international community to assist as the situation is becoming increasingly critical.”

“We are at breaking point. Uganda cannot handle Africa’s largest refugee crisis alone,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi. “The lack of international attention to the suffering of the South Sudanese people is failing some of the most vulnerable people in the world when they most desperately need our help.”

Chronic and severe underfunding has reached a point where critical life-saving help risks becoming dangerously compromised. Transit and reception facilities are rapidly becoming overwhelmed. Significant challenges are being faced in providing refugees with adequate food rations, health and educational services, and sufficient clean water; a dire situation further compounded by the onset of heavy rains. Currently, UNHCR urgently needs more than a quarter of a billion US dollars to support South Sudanese refugees in Uganda in 2017.

Uganda’s approach to dealing with refugees has long been among the most progressive anywhere on the African continent. Upon receiving refugee status, refugees are provided with small areas of land in settlements integrated within the local host community; a pioneering approach that enhances social cohesion and allows both refugees and host communities to live together peacefully. In Uganda’s Mid and South-West, land for these settlements is provided by Government. In northern Uganda, where the vast majority of South Sudanese refugees are being hosted, the land has been donated by the local host community, an outstanding display of generosity towards people fleeing war and conflict.

As a result Uganda was chosen as a role model for pioneering a comprehensive approach to refugee protection that complements humanitarian responses with targeted development action, benefiting both refugees and the communities hosting them. This was adopted as part of the New York Declaration on Refugees and Migrants at the UN General Assembly last year, and is now also being rolled out in other displacement crises – offering hope to millions of refugees worldwide. However, in the face of severe underfunding and the fastest-growing refugee emergency in the world, Uganda’s ability to realise a model that allows refugees to thrive now risks being jeopardized – and the future of the new comprehensive refugee response framework thrown into question.

RI Report: The South Sudanese refugee influx on Northern Uganda and the strain of resources!

There is a massive surge of Refugees from South Sudan, as the crisis is prolonged, the influx of rebellion from the SPLM/A, and SPLM/A-IO, therefore the villagers and farmers will flee the war-torn republic. However, the Ugandan hospitality to these fleeing foreign citizens is more than what happens in the Western Hemisphere and Europe. Uganda has on average taken in 2,400 South Sudanese refugees. This has even created the largest refugee site in the world in Bidibidi on the borders to the Republic.

What this report show’s isn’t just the numbers of South Sudanese that has had to flee the republic, but also the challenges both the Ugandan Authorities, the UN Organizations together with NGOs are meeting. These isn’t small fries, this is the big bank and needed funds to secure the safety of these refugees. Even though the NGOs are struggling with the interference and authorities for their controlling efforts from the Office of Prime Minister and the Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Ruganda who has to be informed and accept the works from them.

Just take look!

The amount of Refugees in Uganda:

“Uganda currently faces the fastest-growing refugee crisis in the world. From July 2016 through January 2017, more than 512,000 South Sudanese refugees arrived in the country – an average of roughly 2,400 per day. This staggering rate of influx into one country, sustained over such a long period, has few precedents in recent years. As a consequence, Uganda has now become the top-ranking refugee- hosting country in Africa, with more than a million refugees in total. It also hosts what is likely the world’s largest refugee site, Bidibidi, with more than 270,000 residents” (Boyce & Vigaud-Walsh, P: 4, 2017).

Continued crisis in South Sudan:

“In short, there is no reason to believe that South Sudanese will be able to return home anytime soon, or that the influx of new arrivals will dissipate. Indeed, UNHCR currently projects that the number of South Sudanese refugees will increase from just over 600,000 today to 925,000 by the end of 2017” (Boyce & Vigaud-Walsh, P: 6, 2017).

Lacking shelter for the refugees:

“Humanitarians told RI that, per Ugandan refugee policy, refugees are expected to build their own shelters. This has the benefit of allowing refugees to design shelters that they want to live in, but it creates challenges when the shelter materials they need (such as lumber and grass) are in short supply, or when refugees physically cannot build their shelters or do not know how. Shelter kits and construction assistance for vulnerable refugees are insufficient and leave refugees – especially women and girls – at risk. For example, in Palorinya settlement, RI met an 18-year-old woman from Yei who came to Uganda alone after her grandmother went missing. RI accompanied her as she collected what she could of her shelter kit and transported it to her plot of land, where she had no instruction or assistance in assembling the shelter as dusk approached. She lamented to RI that she was likely to sleep in the open for an unforeseeable amount of time until she secured assistance” (Boyce & Vigaud-Walsh, P: 8, 2017).

Lacking funds and materials:

“Aid agencies reported that when core relief items were distributed, they nearly always included materials specific to women and girls’ needs – among them, dignity and maternity kits and hand-held solar lamps. Women interviewed did lament shortages of these materials but appreciated that such items were somewhat available, including at reception centers where refugees sometimes have to spend the night prior to transport to a settlement. In other words, it appears that funding shortages in Uganda did not lead to the prioritization of other relief materials at the expense of women’s dignity kits, as RI has unfortunately seen in many emergency situations. This recognition that women’s needs are as important as all others is fundamental to the Safe from the Start approach” (Boyce & Vigaud-Walsh, P: 11, 2017).

Ugandan Government:

“Another humanitarian explained that while Ugandan officials have not discussed “capping” arrivals from South Sudan, refugee fatigue remains a possibility, particularly at the local level. “In the beginning, as one district got an economic boost from the refugees, competition arose between the districts over who could receive more refugees,” the humanitarian said. “But the money for aid now is not what it was, and district governments are noticing this. Expectations are very high and may not be met. That could turn the tide.” This highlights the need for development support in refugee-hosting areas, which can be targeted at host populations in a way that refugee aid cannot” (Boyce & Vigaud-Walsh, P: 16, 2017). “According to multiple senior humanitarians with whom the RI team spoke, OPM exercises tight control over where NGOs can intervene and in which sectors they can work. NGOs are obliged to obtain permission from OPM in order to operate in refugee settlements. Further, OPM is a signatory to all partnership agreements between NGOs and UN agencies. Such measures are not unusual in refugee situations; however, humanitarians told RI that OPM personnel had used these measures as a means to interfere in decisions about partnerships and contracting. RI was told of multiple cases in which OPM personnel had requested that UN agencies or NGOs establish partnerships with specific national NGOs or contract with specific companies. Some humanitarians said that they had accepted this arrangement with resignation. “We do not have full control over our implementing partners, and there are some that we would not have picked otherwise,” one humanitarian said. “When the government disagrees with us, we lose … Everything becomes difficult at the institutional level if we put our foot down and try to say no to a partner.” Another humanitarian recounted that their aid agency had hired a private contractor after “so much pressure” from OPM staff, and that the contractor’s subsequent work was delayed and of poor quality, forcing the aid agency to take a loss. When humanitarians have resisted OPM’s entreaties, the government’s reaction has sometimes been unhelpful: RI was told of cases in which aid organizations were allegedly denied access to settlements after rejecting a contractor that OPM suggested, and of cases where OPM allegedly delayed approving projects for months because of disagreements over the choice of a contractor” (Boyce & Viguad-Walsh, P: 17-18, 2017).

Important recommendations:

“The Ugandan government should:

**Respect the competitive and transparent nature of partnership selection and contracting, and fully abide by ethical standards, including the provisions of Uganda’s Leadership Code Act;

  • • Ensure that any complaints pertaining to the management of the refugee response are fully investigated by the Inspectorate of Government and that any informers and witnesses are provided with appropriate protection; and
  • • Finalize the acceptance of the World Bank’s financing package in support of refugee-hosting areas.

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and Uganda’s Office of the Prime Minister should:

  • • Prioritize partnership applications from specialized trauma counseling agencies; and
  • • Review procedures for identifying people with specific needs at border points to determine if they are in compliance with UNHCR’s Emergency Handbook guidance, and conduct refresher trainings for all personnel responsible for such identification” (Boyce & Vigaud-Walsh, P: 3, 2017).

There we’re many more things to take from this, but there are just enough one man can focus from a hard-hitting report like this. Like all actors and people has to change as these challenges isn’t something that comes easy, the levels of refugees and their experiences needs treatment, food and water, they need a fresh start and peace. That doesn’t come easy, as many of them wants to go home, but the civil war and uncertainty leaves them in a limbo in Uganda. The United Nations Organizations and Office of Prime Minister of Uganda can only go so far. What is also worrying is that the locals and Ugandans expected to earn trade on refugees, instead of seeing the volatile situation the refugees are in and the hostile environment they left. As the Ugandan Authorities sent their army before the last peace-agreement between SPLM/A and SPLM-IO.

The Refugee crisis in Northern Uganda is serious and shouldn’t be forgotten, the donations and spending from international society should be a priority as the expected amount of refugees might be up to as high as 1 million South Sudanese by the end of 2017. No country or state has the economy to facilitate that; even the United States cannot afford refugees right now. If you interpret their bans of Syrian refugees right now! While the Ugandan republic has the ability and capacity to host this massive amounts of refugees, with the hesitation of getting knowledge of all activity from the UN Organizations and NGOs in the Refugee camps and fields. Peace.

Reference:

Boyce, Michael & Vigaud-Walsh, Francisca – ‘GETTING IT RIGHT: PROTECTION OF SOUTH SUDANESE REFUGEES IN UGANDA’ (March 2017), Refugees International – Field Report

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: