By Alex Pithua
To mitigate the impact of the coronavirus on refugees and host communities in Uganda, the government of Japan last month donated USD 9.8 million, about Shs36 billion.
“Japan recognizes that the humanitarian situation in refugee-hosting areas is devastating, especially under the spread of covid-19. Therefore, specific focus has been made on mitigating the impact of covid-19 vulnerable population, including refugees and host community members, women and children in Uganda, “Japan ambassador in Uganda H.E Hidemoto Fukuzawa explained.
H.E Fukuzawa was addressing a press briefing at the Uganda Media Centre on April 20, 2021 accompanied by other humanitarian organisations like UNICEF that have equally committed to helping refugees and host communities survive during the pandemic.
Japan had previously provided humanitarian support to the government of Uganda from 2016-2020 worth 35 million USD approximately Shs127 billion for emergency responses.
Hon. Hilary Onek, the Minister for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees commended the government of Japan for their contribution meant to alleviate the suffering of the vulnerable refugees and host communities.
Uganda is one among several countries in the world with an open-door policy for refugees and migrants.
Refugee population in Uganda is estimated at 1,484,356 by the end of 2021. However, this number continues to grow despite restrictions of congestion at refugee settlement camps to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
“The peaceful atmosphere in Uganda has attracted people to come live here and the government has done its part by offering a conducive environment for the reception and delivery of humanitarian assistance to refugees,” said Mr. Onek.
Refugees in Uganda are hosted in 13 settlement camps in different parts of the country. Most refugees are from conflict situations in the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan and Burundi among others. Somalis are also found in some of these settlement camps and urban centers.