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UK Minister appeals to international community on refugees

By Joyce Namutebi

Added 23rd February 2017 04:10 PM

The UK Minister arrived in Uganda yesterday (23 February) to reaffirm UK support for the Ugandan approach to refugee management, a press release issued by the British High Commission said.

UK Minister appeals to international community on refugees

The UK Minister arrived in Uganda yesterday (23 February) to reaffirm UK support for the Ugandan approach to refugee management, a press release issued by the British High Commission said.

UK Minister for International Development, James Wharton has called on the international community to work together to support long term stability of South Sudan, Uganda and the region given the refugee situation there.

He noted that South Sudan faces an urgent and severe humanitarian crisis with almost half the population in desperate need, which impacts on the whole region.

"The first famine for six years has now been declared in some parts of South Sudan and ongoing violence forcing over 1 million people to flee their homes and seek refuge in neighbouring countries like Uganda," Wharton said.

He added that "Uganda is now among the largest refugee hosting nations in the world and is home to more refugees than any other country in Africa, and so the international community must now step up alongside the UK to help encourage the longer-term stability of South Sudan, Uganda and the broader region," Wharton said.


The UK Minister arrived in Uganda yesterday (23 February) to reaffirm UK support for the Ugandan approach to refugee management, a press release issued by the British High Commission said.

He travelled to refugee camps in Imvepi near Arua to meet people affected by conflict and displacement, as well as local government officials and partners, including UNHCR.

The UK is at the forefront in providing support throughout the region, bolstering help in South Sudan as well as supporting Uganda to cope with the influx of refugees, the release said.

UK funding has been used to provide life-saving assistance in the form of food, shelter, immunisation and medical care, clean water and sanitary facilities, as well as the construction of schools, transit centres and community facilities, it added

Fighting and horrific brutality have displaced millions of people in South Sudan - with over 2,400 South Sudanese refugees arriving in Uganda every day on average. Uganda is now the largest refugee hosting nation in Africa with more than one million refugees.


Uganda's refugee policy is among the most generous and progressive in Africa and the world.  It is pioneering a policy that promotes social cohesion and self-reliance among refugees, the release said.

Mr Wharton's visit is the second visit to Uganda by a UK Government Minister in the space of two weeks, following the recent visit by Baroness Joyce Anelay, a Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister
 
The Head of Communications at the British High Commission, Samuel Paice, said:

"This increase in high-level contact between our two governments demonstrates the importance that the UK attaches to its key relationship with Uganda, across a wide range of sectors."

"The UK is the largest cumulative investor in Uganda, and Uganda's second largest bilateral donor.  The UK is helping lead the international community's response to the current refugee situation in Uganda.

We work closely with our partners in Uganda to achieve shared objectives in areas as diverse as trade, education, humanitarian and human rights," Paice added.

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