Main Reasons Uganda has Suspended Many Refugee Aid Agencies

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Over the years, the Ugandan state has served as a home to many refugees from various countries. Currently, it holds 1.4 million refugee occupants. The government is strategically positioned to border countries like the DRC, South Sudan, and Burundi, who majorly account for their refugees. Of this population, 74% is from South Sudan, 19% from the DRC, and 3% are from Burundi.  The DRC conflicts and the onset of the coronavirus pandemic haven’t made things easier for the country. The country would certainly appreciate all the help it could get to assist the incoming refugees. However, this seems not to be the case. The government has consequently suspended 208 refugee aid organizations connected to corruption cases.

The UN guidance on refugee aid

As a country, Uganda serves as one of the largest refugee-hosting countries in Africa. Uganda was also among the first countries to integrate the United Nations’ comprehensive refugee response framework. The framework advocates for refugees in host countries to be accommodated and included in the host’s development agendas from an early age.

Uganda offers a range of services to its refugees, including the right to movement. They also enjoy the right to work and establish businesses, and to access public services like education. Additionally, it has managed to maintain the most progressive refugee protection policies in the world. As a result, its refugee response has been acknowledged by the UN as a model implementation for the UNs framework.

Nonetheless, Uganda has been experiencing rising tensions with its aid organizations. Earlier the year 2018, the minister accused NGO bosses of embezzling funds meant for refugees due to their greed. As if it wasn’t enough, the government brought to light how NGOs hijacked donor funds raised at the refugee solidarity summit in Kampala 2017.

Burden sharing in for refugee needs

Following Uganda’s act of suspending aid organizations, the refugees are likely to be met with insufficient help delivery. In a bid to help the refugees, the government has had to make a tough call to eliminate the rising cases of corruption at the people’s expense. The minister’s statement highly suggested that they would trust aid established by entities like the UN Refugee Agency.

It calls for an equitable and efficient burden-sharing framework that will help boost the refugees in the country. The hospitality accorded to these refugees by the government is just overwhelming. However, it would be a grave mistake to let that slip away.

In the future

The country needs most of the help it can get in helping out the refugees in the country. Laying off some of these aid agencies affirms how committed the government is in promoting integrity in delivering their services. Aid agencies play an essential role in helping the country provide their services. Formulating a framework will do just fine to authenticate aid agencies’ generosity who wish to chip in.

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