Japan Donates UGX 22 Billion to Support South Sudan Refugees

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In short
Japanese Ambassador to Uganda Kazuaki Kameda announced the donation during a press conference held at the Office of the Prime Minister in Kampala today. He stated that the support is meant to support the massive inflow of refugees who are running from fighting, increased violence and famine in South Sudan.

The Government of Japan has donated USD 6.3 million (22 billion Shillings) towards supporting South Sudan Refugees in Uganda.

Japanese Ambassador to Uganda Kazuaki Kameda announced the donation during a press conference held at the Office of the Prime Minister in Kampala today.  He stated that the support is meant to support the massive inflow of refugees who are running from fighting, increased violence and famine in South Sudan.

The donation comes a month after UNHCR and government of Uganda launched an appeal for support as thousands of refugees from South Sudan, desperate for safety and assistance pour into the various parts of the country overstretching existing humanitarian assistance efforts.

According to UNHCR, chronic and severe under-funding has reached the point where critical programmes are at the risk of being dangerously compromised while transit and reception facilities are rapidly becoming overwhelmed in providing adequate food rations, health and educational services.

Uganda is hosting more than 800,000 south Sudanese nationals, majority of whom arrived after July last year. However, according to Filippo Grandi, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the figure could surpass one million by mid-2017, given the present rate of arrivals.

The donation by Japan will be channeled through three United Nations Agencies; World Food Program (WFP), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). It will be used to buy food, support health, education and sanitation programmes, and reinforce security in refugee hosting communities.

Ambassador Kameda says Japan is committed to transform the lives of refugees calling for the world to add more funding towards refugees.
 
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Funding requirements for the south Sudan crisis were recently revised upwards   to USD 781.8 million (2.7 trillion Shillings), some USD 297.9 million (1,053 trillion Shillings) higher than the earlier budget of USD 483.9 million (1.7 trillion Shillings). Of this, an allocation of USD 283.8 million (1.1 trillion Shillings) is proposed for activities in Uganda, where majority of the South Sudan refugees are hosted.

Rosa Malango, the UN Resident coordinator welcomed the gesture from the Government of Japan stating that the refugee situation in the country is overwhelming. She says the money will be used to build livelihood of refugees, Public health and water and sanitation to refugees and asylum seekers.
 
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Bornwell Kantande, the UNHCR Resident Coordinator states that with the unique Uganda refugee model, additional support will equip the refugees to add value to their countries when they return. He applauded Ugandans for providing their land and resources to the refugees.

Each refugee in Uganda is entitled to a 50 by 50 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.

Relief and Disaster preparedness Minister Hillary Onek welcomed the donation stating that Uganda is committed to securing the lives of refugees adding that although the country is still managing, it could reach a breaking point if not helped. He says Uganda needs funds to support supporting south Sudanese youths through vocational skills.
 
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Daloum El Khidir, the World Food Programme Country Director says the funding will go a long way in supporting the most vulnerable refugees like children and women to enable them reestablish their lives. He says half a million refugees will be reached with part of the funding.

 

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.