The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved a grant of $150 million to Uganda from the International Development Association (IDA) to improve life for both refugee and host communities.
The money is specifically designed to improve access to basic social services, expand economic opportunities and enhance environmental management in the region. Tony Thompson, World Bank Country Manager for Uganda said that the World Bank was looking forward to working closely with other development and humanitarian partners to support the Government and the people of Uganda.
“Uganda’s progressive approach to refugees provides some of the best prospects for self-reliance. This Grant shows the international community – and the World Bank – greatly appreciates Uganda’s generosity towards refugees,” he added.
This latest grant builds on an initial $150 million project approved by the World Bank on May 31, 2016 and which became effective on June 29, 2017.
According to the World Bank, Uganda is currently the largest refugee-hosting country in Africa and the third largest worldwide.
Approximately 1.2 million refugees and asylum seekers are living in Uganda due to ongoing conflicts and instability in some parts of the region.
The Development Response to Displacement Impacts Project (DRDIP) will cover 11 districts that host the largest number of refugees and therefore bear a disproportionate amount of strain on existing community social services and infrastructure.
The project will support investments in basic social service infrastructure, integrated natural resources management and income generating activities including alternative livelihoods like value-addition to agriculture products, and fish farming.
The World Bank says the project will strengthen transparency and accountability while addressing social risk management and gender-based violence.
The project is part of a regional operation also being implemented in Ethiopia, Kenya and Djibouti.