Douglas Asiimwe, the Ag. Commissioner for Refugees at the Office of the Prime Minister told journalists on Friday that they had planned to receive an estimated sixty thousand new arrivals but with the influx of refugees from the war-ridden neighboring DR Congo, they have so far registered sixty-three thousand and now expecting up to one hundred thousand new arrivals by end of the year.
Uganda has hit its annual refugee admission target at half
year, exerting more pressure on the country to urgently look for donations if
its globally recognized open door policy is to be sustained.
Douglas Asiimwe, the Acting Commissioner for Refugees at the
Office of the Prime Minister told journalists on Friday that they had planned
to receive an estimated sixty thousand new arrivals but with the influx of
refugees from the war-ridden neighboring DR Congo, they have so far registered
sixty-three thousand and expecting up to one hundred thousand new arrivals by
end of the year.
//Cue in:” This year alone ………. //
Cue out: ……… settlement policy approach.”//
He says with these numbers, they have run out of space and need to open up new settlement sites as well as land for livelihood as the progressive refugee policy stipulates.
Asiimwe was speaking shortly after a meeting between the Government
of Uganda and donor representatives including the Danish Ambassador and officials
from the UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.
During the meeting, Hilary Onek Minister for Relief,
Disaster Preparedness and Refugees revealed that the country is battling two crises
at ago where in addition to the refugee influx, there is dire food shortage in
Karamoja where they are getting reports of people dying of hunger.
He said they need $804million to handle refugee programmes
but have only received pledges amounting to $47million so far.
//Cue in:” For 2022 our ……….//
Cue out: ……….. Manage
Earlier, donors had resolved to create a solidarity fund to
help with such emergencies but Onek says while $530million was pledged, the
government account only received $1.5million with contributions from countries
such as China and India. The rest he says instead opted to allocate money to local
NGOs that operate refugee-related programmes.
//Cue in:” of the five ………//
Cue out: ……….. like health centers.”//
With only meagre funds and no more land left for new settlements,
Onek says they are discussions to examine other options they could take which may
include letting donors, especially for the case of DR Congo, build Internally
Displaced People (IDP) camps within the country.
But, on his part, Danish Ambassador Nicolaj Hejberg Petersen
said in addition to the funds already extended to Uganda, Denmark has added
another $7million to help with the response.
Overall however, there are currently a total of one million
five hundred and thirty refugees registered by OPM. Of these, some fourteen thousand
are from Ethiopia, ten thousand from Eritrea and fifty thousand from Somalia. OPM
notes that there are also a lot of unregistered refugees especially from Congo.