According to the Minister for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, ‘Hillary Onek’ the government is overwhelmed by the growing number of refugees.
He stated that the intention of the country is to meet with other East African member states affected by the burden in order to find a solution to the crisis.
This happens after the new arrival of 35,000 refugees in the last two months, who include 25,000 belonging to the Democratic Republic of Congo and 10,000 new entrants from South Sudan, adding that they already exist 1.6 million refugees in Uganda.
In villages which are near the refugees, some of them have already started losing their food; chicken and cassava are being uprooted at night, and so on, those are now starting to happen. We need to have a conference with those countries,” he said during a news conference.
According to Onek that Uganda continues to be Africa’s largest refugee-hosting country, with over a million refugees from South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)/Somalia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Burundi and other countries listed among host countries who equally need support as they shoulder the hosting burden.
The government of Africa praises the government of Japan for the tireless effort and continuous support to Uganda, and it is our hope that Japan will remain a partner to the Uganda government to address humanitarian challenges, he said.
While asking about the humanitarian agencies are accountable. Onek stated that the government has no idea how the money they collect has been utilised.
He suggested an audit of humanitarian agencies on how they spent some of the $ 530 million pledged during the refugee solidarity summit held in Uganda in 2017.
He furthermore stated that they give money to the World Food Programme, UNHCR and other agencies. They chose to get these agencies because they think Uganda is very corrupt, and here you are asking to whom they are accountable. It means there is bigger corruption there. We even proposed that let’s start auditing the agencies ourselves here, he said.
Speaking on behalf of the UN system in Uganda, Antonio Queridot, Country Representative of FAO, praised Japan’s government and people for their valuable contribution to the global efforts in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic and to the advancement of human security in Uganda.