We call on all non-traditional donors to join the effort."
(Credit: Andrew Masinde)
CONFLICT | AID
The European Union (EU), which has a significant hand in financing the refugee cause in Uganda, has called for more support as the refugee burden on the country becomes heavier.
The EU says non-traditional donors need to quickly join the effort if Uganda can avert a crisis following a relentless exodus of refugees into the country in the last few months.
Of the 65 million people around the world who have been forced from their homes as refugees, Uganda alone has more than 1.2 million [according to EU]. Most are people fleeing fighting in South Sudan.
"Uganda is standing at the forefront… With its history of hosting refugees, Uganda keeps its door open to those fleeing persecution in their own countries… We call on all non-traditional donors to join the effort," said EU in a statement.
Based on current commitments, EU funds 47% of the humanitarian response to refugees in Uganda. However, with the influx, reported at about 2,000 refugees per day to Uganda, the situation has become more desperate in the last 12 months.
Humanitarian agencies including United Nations High Commission for Refugees and the World Food Programme have become constrained and have been louder in calling for more funding.
As of May, UNCHR were seeking $1.4 b (about 50 trillion) to provide life-saving aid to South Sudanese refugees in Uganda and the several other neighbouring countries.
EU said in the statement that it has stood beside Uganda from the onset of the crisis by providing financial support for refugee activities and is hoping for more players to join in supporting Uganda.
"We hope the Solidarity Summit will mobilise not only political and financial support to meet the needs of refugees and communities, but will create new partnerships, investments and ideas," the statement added.
Uganda is hosting the Solidarity Summit this week on June 22 and 23 with UN Secretary General António Guterres expected in Kampala as chief guest.
International media Reuters recently quoted Prime Minister Rugunda as saying he hoped Uganda to raise $2b (about 71 trillion) in donations to help fund relief operations for refugees flowing into the country.