Kampala, Uganda | JULIUS BUSINGE | The U.S. government and the American people are continuing to support refugees in Uganda with nearly $83 million in additional humanitarian assistance by the end of the U.S. fiscal year 2018.
According to a press release issued by the U.S Embassy in Kampala on Oct.17, the new funding includes a US$40million contribution to the United Nations World Food Programme, a US$29 million contribution to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and nearly $14million to support the work of other international and non-governmental organizations.
In total, the U.S. provided US$139million in fiscal year 2018 in support of the Uganda refugee response.
“This emergency humanitarian aid, provided by the U.S. government, will help meet the immediate food, protection, shelter, water and sanitation, psychosocial, and other life-saving assistance needs of refugees and host communities,” the press release reads in part.
It adds that the assistance prioritises procurement of food from Ugandan and regional farmers.
In the same press release, the Embassy says that the U.S. also continues to leverage development and humanitarian resources to build self-reliance and resilience among the refugees and Ugandans in refugee-hosting districts, including support for livelihoods and nutrition.
Through this funding, the U.S. government also supports the United Nations’ implementation of biometric registration and a new biometric-based food distribution system, which will help elevate standards of accountability, transparency, safety, and dignity in refugee food assistance.
This support is important because Uganda is the largest refugee-hosting country in Africa. Government figures indicate that over 1.4 million people in Uganda are refugees.
Relief agencies and the Government of Uganda continue to work together to meet life-saving needs of refugees, including those who have fled conflict in South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Analysts have recently urged government to ensure efficient and effective utilisation of resources provided by development partners following reports of misuse of some funds meant to benefit refugee communities in the country.