Somali refugees in Uganda to benefit from EU contribution
KAMPALA, Uganda - The Somali refugees in Uganda are among the refugees in the country to benefit from funds being contributed by the EU towards supporting refugees in the East African country.
The European Union (EU) has pledged a substantial contribution of Shs78.2 billion to bolster Uganda’s refugee response efforts, with a specific focus on making the response more sustainable. This significant investment reflects the EU’s commitment to supporting Uganda’s response to refugees.
Uganda hosts 1.5 million refugees from several African countries including Somalia. Among them,41,234 are from Somalia. Uganda's Ministry of Relief and Disaster Preparedness official Thomas Kalule said in an interview with Garowe,'' We have many Somali refugees, especially in Kampala suburbs and some refugee camps upcountry. They are definitely among those to benefit from the funds from the EU."
The EU Ambassador to Uganda announced on Wednesday that the EU has allocated €6.5 million for the programmatic partnership this year. Furthermore, the EU has committed an additional €19.5 million for the years 2023–2025. This three-year program is designed to provide funding predictability and aims to transform Uganda into a model for sustainable refugee response.
This partnership represents the first of its kind between the EU and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and it’s also the first partnership dedicated to a single country. The EU’s Humanitarian Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (DG ECHO) will work in collaboration with UNHCR to implement this initiative.
Sadek praised Uganda for its open-door policy, which allows refugees to access protection, health, education services, and opportunities for work and business creation.
The EU support comes at a critical time when Uganda is grappling with challenges in funding refugee support due to reduced international financial assistance. Mr. Mathew Crentsil, the UNHCR representative in Uganda, commended the partnership for providing funding predictability and aligning with the government’s and UNHCR’s long-term objectives.
Hilary Onek, the Minister for Relief, Disaster Preparedness, and Refugees, emphasized the need for durable solutions to refugee challenges, including efforts to promote peace in neighboring countries. He also mentioned the government’s intention to secure a loan of Shs1.0 trillion ($280 million) from the World Bank to support refugees in Uganda.