Uganda is now hosting more refugees than any other African country and President Yoweri Museveni says the biggest challenge in handling and settling refugees is lack of resources which is hindering the provision of the support they need, accordibg to a media statement from the president’s office here.

Uganda received more than half a million new refugees, mainly from South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Burundi, last year with South Sudan alone accounting for 238,145, while the DRC accounted for 215,309, Somalia 38,176, Burundi 40,874, Rwanda 17,616, Eritrea 11,328, Sudan 3,103, Ethiopia 2,790 and other countries 1,034, bring the total number arriving in 2016 to 568,414, according to figures from the United nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) office in Uganda.

Resources are a challenge. Otherwise these refugees are our people from Somalia, South Sudan, Rwanda etc. I thank the United Nations for supporting the education of refugees in Uganda. Education and skills are very important for refugees in camps, the president said when he met Priti Patel, the British Secretary of State for International Development, in Addis Ababa, when he attended the African Union Summit in the Ethiopian capital early this week.

According to the World Food Programme (WFP), Uganda now hosts more refugees than any other country in Africa.

At the beginning of 2016, the WFP was assisting 380,000 refugees in Uganda; by October that number had grown by 70 percent to 650,000 refugees. The refugee agency said the food requirements are substantial, costing about 12 million US dollars per month, almost double the monthly requirement prior to the recent influx.

The President and Patel discussed various issues on the causes of conflicts in some of the African countries, including Somalia, and possible solutions which can lead to sustainable peace, stability and development.

Museveni explained that many conflicts in Africa are ideological with incompetent groups only interested in identity of tribe or religion and not the legitimate interests of the people, including prosperity, strategic security and development.

On behalf of the British government, Patel invited President Museveni to attend a conference on Somalia in Britain. She said the British government was working on the humanitarian challenges and on the issues of refugees, noting that they need a peaceful approach to the conflict in South Sudan. She said Uganda had done a commendable job in promoting peace initiatives.



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