Uganda refugee crisis fundraising fall short of hopes at $358m

2017-06-24 18:00
iStock

iStock

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Kampala - The international community pledged $358m at a fundraising summit on Friday to help Uganda tackle the world's fastest growing refugee crisis, falling well short of expectations.

Organisers had hoped the meeting in the central city of Entebbe would raise at least $2bn to help nearly a million South Sudanese fleeing civil war.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said the pledges were a good beginning, but that more was needed.

"I think it is a very good start but we cannot stop," he said.

However, Yuna Cho of Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in Uganda said, "The outcome is disappointing, worrying".

"Although the number of people currently crossing the border is decreasing that didn't mean that the problem is close to being solved," Cho added.

On Thursday, Guterres visited refugee camps in northern Uganda, close to the South Sudan border, which have popped up over the last year, quickly becoming the largest in the world.

Guterres said Uganda's "exemplary refugee policy" stands out in a world where many countries are turning their backs on foreigners in need.

Refugees were not living in camps but in settlements which were more like proper villages, according to the UN chief.

"They are allowed to farm the land, allowed to build the same schools, the same hospitals, the same health centres, to get jobs, to have a noble life, to live in dignity," he said.

"It is necessary for the international community to recognise that Uganda has had an exemplary refugee policy in the past.

"And even today, faced with the largest refugee inflow, Uganda remains a symbol of the integrity of the refugee protection regime that unfortunately is not being respected everywhere in the world," he said.

947 000 S Sudanese in Uganda 

On Friday, European nations pledged $140m on top of $95 pledged by the EU on Thursday, but summit organisers say $8bn or - is needed to deal with the crisis for the coming four years.

Appealing for funds, Guterres said international solidarity with Uganda was "not a matter of generosity, it is a matter of justice."

According to the UN refugee agency more than 947 000 South Sudanese refugees are sheltering in Uganda, bringing the total number of refugees in the east African nation to more than 1.2 million.

South Sudan, the world's youngest nation, achieved independence in 2011.

Civil war broke out in 2013 after President Salva Kiir accused his rival and former deputy Riek Machar of plotting a coup against him.

In August 2015, a peace deal was signed but it collapsed in July last year when fighting broke out in Juba, spreading violence across the country.

It was this fighting that led to the biggest exodus, with some 743 000 South Sudanese arriving in Uganda since July 2016 - or about 2 000 a day.

There were already some 200 000 living in Uganda due to the initial outbreak of fighting in 2013, with the latest influx pushing the overall number close to a million.

More than 270 000 of them are housed in Bidibidi settlement, which overtook Kenya's Dadaab earlier this year as the biggest refugee camp in the world.

The UN estimates that another 500 000 South Sudanese will arrive in Uganda this year.

The summit will not include discussions on how to end the ongoing fighting, but Guterres insisted that the violence stop.

"Everything must be done to end the war in South Sudan," he said.

Read more on:    un  |  uganda  |  south sudan  |  east africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/World
 

Makeover saves dog’s life

Lucky Charlie got a complete make-over that helped him get adopted.

 
 

Paws

For the love of Corgis!
Can we communicate with our pets?
8 great natural remedies for your pet
Buying a puppy? Don’t get scammed!
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.