A joint United Nations and Ugandan government donor summit called to raise $8Billion to ease a growing refugee crisis in the country raised $358M on Friday amid fears of a humanitarian crisis following an influx of refugees from South Sudan.
Earlier, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres told the summit that South Sudan, which has 900 000 refugees in Uganda, was witnessing an exodus of its citizens in a magnitude only witnessed during the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
President Yoweri Museveni said despite the funding gaps Uganda would keep its doors open to refugees.
Statistics from the United Nations indicate that just over 2 000 people are fleeing South Sudan daily into Uganda, running away from three years of fighting and hunger. The conflict has uprooted at least a third of South Sudan’s population from their homes.
“I witnessed what has been the biggest the biggest exodus from Africa since the Rwandan genocide,” says United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
If the international community assists us to cope with this challenge we shall manage as we have done in the past
Uganda, now the largest host of refugees in Africa is home to 1.3 million refugees, close to a million of them are from South Sudan. The funds to support the refugees are almost running out and there is a strain on the country’s infrastructure and resources.
“If the international community assists us to cope with this challenge we shall manage as we have done in the past,” says Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.
UNHRC Commissioner Filipo Grandi says; “Malnutrition rates among refugees are alarming, and the WFP has told us that the food pipeline is drying up and in a school that we visited there were more than 100,000 crammed into small classrooms.”
Donors who attended the summit piled pressure on South Sudan’s warring factions to put an end to the conflict. “A good starting point, you never have in a pledging conference the amount you are asking for,” said Guterres.
President Yoweni Museveni says the donors showed solidarity with Uganda. “These people have come to express solidarity with us and on the first day $358M.”
Women and children are the worst affected by the conflict and the growing humanitarian crisis.
– By Sarah Kimani