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Rugunda assures UN of support for refugees

By John Masaba, Pascal Kwesiga

Added 30th August 2016 08:35 PM

Rugunda said during a joint press briefing with Grandi in Kampala that Uganda is facing a lot of challenges, especially feeding the refugees fleeing conflict in South Sudan.

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Rugunda said during a joint press briefing with Grandi in Kampala that Uganda is facing a lot of challenges, especially feeding the refugees fleeing conflict in South Sudan.

PIC :UNHCR head Grandi and Rugunda shake hands after a joint press conference in the Office of the Prime Minister building

Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda has assured the visiting United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) boss, Filippo Grandi, that Uganda will continue its support to refugees despite challenges.

"We will continue handling them (refugees) humanely and giving them the tools to help them become self-sustainable while here and when they return to their countries," Rugunda said.  

Rugunda said during a joint press briefing with Grandi in Kampala that Uganda is facing a lot of challenges, especially feeding the refugees fleeing conflict in South Sudan.   

UN said mid this month that low levels of funding, together with new arrivals from South Sudan had forced them to start rationing food supplies to the refugees in Northern Uganda by up to 50%.

 

The violence that broke out in South Sudan on July has resulted in up to 90,000 refugees fleeing to Uganda. But despite the influx, response in form of aid for the refugees from the international community has been slow.

Grandi, who is on a two-day visit to the country to discuss the refugee crisis, lamented that so far support for Uganda refugees is only 25% of the support required.

He said about 7,000 people are living in a place meant for only 2,000 people in Adjumani, northern Uganda,  resulting in a deterioration of living standards. 

He applauded Uganda for showing a remarkable organisation in responding to refugee influx despite the challenges.

"Yesterday in Adjumani I could see with my eyes the quality of reception provided by government. The government is showing remarkable response," he said.  

He said his agency is doing everything it humanely can to arrest the situation. 

According to information from UNHCR in Kampala, over 100,000 refugees from South Sudan have fled to Uganda since July 8 when two government armies – one taking instructions from the country's former first vice president Dr. Riek Machar, and the other under the command of president Salva Kiir.

Details in tomorrow's New Vision 

 

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