Uganda investigates allegations of refugee aid fraud by officials

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Uganda is investigating allegations that its officials defrauded donors by inflating refugee numbers and diverting food aid, the prime minister’s office said on Tuesday.

This comes after the EU delegation in the country yesterday identified allegations of corruption in managing refugee assistance programs and alerted the government of Uganda.

In a statement, the EU said that it has identified the “troubling allegations” together with its partner agencies and had formally submitted the case to the EU’s anti-fraud office OLAF.

Julius Mucunguzi, spokesman for the prime minister’s told Reuters that the government took the allegations from the UN seriously and have immediately instituted an investigation.

The UN agencies have demanded proper audit on the numbers of refugees because the process for verification has not been robust enough.

Uganda hosts more than 1 million people who fled war in neighboring South Sudan and some 400,000 more from Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo.

The country has given refugees land and opportunity to work, in stark contrast to many richer nations.

Last week UN refugees Chief Filippo Grandi hailed Uganda for having, “one of the most progressive policies for refugees, not only in Africa but also in the world”.

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