On attendance of the solidarity summit at Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort in Kampala, foreign countries pledged to draw financial assistance to the Ugandan government to support refugees. The sum of money totaled to 358.2 million dollars falling short of 2 billion dollars initially targeted.
The summit under the theme “shoulder to shoulder” was hosted by HE President museveni Yoweri and co-host the United Nations (UN) Secretary General, Mr. Antonio Guterres on 22nd-23rd of June 2017.
Mr. Guterres in congruence with other leaders applauded Uganda for it’s hospitality towards the refugees. “Solidarity is not a matter of generosity; it is a matter of justice. It is essential to recognize these efforts and support Uganda. If the efforts are not sustainable, then it will be dramatic,”.
The Summit was attended by Presidents Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon, Edgar Chagwa Lungu of Zambia, Mohammed Abdullahi of Somalia, South Sudan’s Vice President, James Wani Igga, Belgian Deputy Prime Minister, Alexander De Croo, and representatives and dignitaries from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), China, Kenya, Tanzania, the United Kingdom (UK), Iceland, Sweden, Japan, Germany and Ethiopia, among others.
Uganda is the first African country with an influx of 1,271,000 refugees from mostly South Sudan, Somalia, Congo, Eritrea, Rwanda, Etiopia and Burundi which has created immense pressure on the available resources.
In his statement, HE Yoweri appealed to the international community to aid Uganda to reward hosting communities especially with infrastructure development. In particular the construction two main roads: Moyo-Yumbe-Koboko, in the neighbourhood of the famous Bidi Bidi camp in Yumbe district that is hosting 272,168 refugees today; and Kabiingo-Rugaaga-Magabi-Rakai that starts from the famous Nakivaale Refugee Settlement camp that looked after the Rwanda refugees between 1960 and 1994 and is still hosting different waves of subsequent refugees.
” The Uganda government will, eventually, do these roads. If, however, the International Community was to expedite that process and we informed our people in the areas, they would understand that their hospitality has not been in vain” said president Yoweri Museveni.
it is not such a difficult problem to absorb or co-exist with refugees from within Africa because the entirety of the African population is comprised of only 4 linguistic groups. These are: the Niger-Congo group of languages, the Nilo-Saharan, the Afro-Asiatic and the Khoisan.
But with a huge migration of refugees comes inevitable challenges. These include; food inadequacy, shelter challenges, water provision, energy, clothes and household equipment, health care in terms of treatment and immunisation.
The president condemned the “man made crisis” which have diligently caused an increment in people fleeing from their countries to others in such of safety and peace. Not deflecting from other leaders, most people flee from terrorists, civil wars and incompetent governments.
“Bad politics,the ideology of sectarianism, utilizing the pseudo-ideology of opportunistically exploiting identity of religion or tribes is behind most of these crises,” he said.
The President informed the Summit that Uganda has discouraged rural migration of refugees beyond their gazatted resettlement areas due to the sensitive nature of some of the tribes, but that fortunate refugees who have capital and skills, can relocate to the urban centers and participate in the town service works.
Some refugees come with skills that could prove useful in this country just like America, a Jewish scientist from Germany created an atomic bomb in which the US benefited. So in the same manner Uganda welcomes refugees with skills as an avenue to rebuild and remodel their lives in exile or new homes.
In 2o16, The UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) had allocated US$18 million to Uganda for support to internally displaced persons, refugees and host communities as part of its first allocation round from the underfunded emergencies window.
European countries like Denmark offered 40 million and Netherlands pledged 5.5 million. India committed to offer 1 million.Austria promised 2 million, China 500,000 and Ireland 2.3 million Euros. Many other countries pledged and the total pledges amounted to 358.2 million dollars.