UNHCR appeals for Shs1.6 trillion to support refugees in Uganda

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Uganda is home to 1.1 million refugees with 90 percent from South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) is now appealing for  Shs1.6 trillion to support refugees in Uganda next year.

According to the agency’s budget report for 2019, the money will be used to expand education services, environmental protection and livelihood programmes.

“UNHCR’s main priorities for 2019-2020 will be to ensure significant expansion in education, environment and livelihoods, as well as maintain quality protection interventions and continue to strengthen accountability and risk management,” the budget report reads in part.

Uganda has been lauded globally for its progressive refugees’ policy. The multi-stakeholder approach has boosted self-reliance among refugees and extended services to host communities.

Initially, records indicated that Uganda hosts 1.4 million refugees but a joint investigation by government and UNHCR released in October revealed that the figures had been inflated by 300,000 people. The report clarified that only 1.1 million refugees had been verified.

In a statement released last month, responding to report on the inflated refugee figures and misuse of donor funds, UNHCR said it had put in place measures to curb corruption and ensure accuracy in recorded figures.

Most refugees reside in designated refugee settlements located across 11 districts Uganda. Uganda allows freedom of movement of refugees.

The country also accords them the right to work and access national social services