Global Community Urged to Intensify Efforts on South Sudan

1873 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Ugandas model allows refugees to contribute to the local economy but also enables the refugees to be self-sufficient. This is especially through the provision of land for settlement Agriculture for refugees.

The United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi has called on world leaders to double their efforts towards ensuring that peace returns to Juba.

Grandi is currently on an official visit to Uganda aimed at looking at the Uganda refugee model, the basis of which the country has been named as one of the best places to be a refugee.

Uganda's model allows refugees to contribute to the local economy but also enables the refugees to be self-sufficient. This is especially through the provision of land for settlement Agriculture for refugees.

Each refugee in Uganda is entitled to a 50 by 50ft plot of land for cultivation and settlement, materials for construction of a shelter and daily food rations for a period of at least one year. They are also integrated to access health care and education with the community they live in. They have a right to work and do business but also have freedom of movement.

Grandi visited the West Nile region where he noted congestion and food crisis in the settlements with over 7,000 South Sudan refugees. The number of South Sudan refugees in Uganda has drastically shot up since the latest outbreak of fighting between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and firmer First vice President Riek Machar.

The fighting that broke out in July, led to the displacement of 1.6 million south Sudan nationals. Subsequently, first Vice president Machar fled the country and was replaced by Taban Deng as First vice President.

In a press conference hosted by Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda in Kampala, Grandi says only the return of peace to South Sudan will solve the refugee crisis. He implored the international community to intensify its effort to bring the leadership of South Sudan to reason and to establish peace in the country, adding that the south Sudan situation is urgent and critical.
 
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He also noted that the UN appeal for funding for south Sudanese refugees is only funded to the tune of 20-25 percent adding that there is inequality exhibited in the case of south Sudan compared to other emergencies in the world.

Charlie Yaxley, the Associate External Relations Officer of the UNHCR in Kampala observed a need for key infrastructure like schools, shelters and food in the three settlements that were opened recently in West Nile.
 
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Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda noted that a project is underway to ensure that the conditions for refugees and the host communities are improved. He says they are hoping on a 50 million concessional loan from World Bank to save the refugee situation.
 
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David Kazungu, the commissioner for Refugees at OPM noted that efforts are underway to decongest Nyumanzi settlement in Adjumani district adding that Uganda will only within the available means to feed the refugees.
 
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Uganda hosts over 600,000 refugees with over 314,000 from South Sudan. In 2016 alone 70,000 South Sudanese entered Uganda as refugees. UN Security Council recently approved a UN peacekeeping force of 4000 soldiers to ensure peace in South Sudan.

 

About the author

Alex Otto
“Journalism that changes lives is my goal,” Alex Otto has said on more than one occasion. That is his career’s guiding principle. Has been since he was a radio journalist in the northern Ugandan town of Gulu in 2009.

Otto passionately believes his journalism should bring to the fore the voices of the voiceless like the shooting victims of Apaa. Otto tries in his journalism to ask tough questions to those in positions of authority.

Based in the Kampala bureau, Otto is especially interested in covering agriculture, politics, education, human rights, crime, environment and business. He has reported intensively on the post-conflict situation in northern Uganda.

A URN staff member since 2014, Otto previously worked with The Observer Newspaper from 2012 to 2013 and later the Institute for War and Peace Reporting IWPR based in Gulu.

He was the URN Gulu bureau chief 2014-2016.