US TO PROVIDE UGANDA FURTHER AID TO HELP IT COPE WITH REFUGEE BURDEN

KAMPALA, The United States will provide further assistance to Uganda to help it provide emergency food and nutrition assistance, medical care and security to the rising number of refugees which have poured into Uganda from neighbouring countries in the Horn of Africa.

US Ambassador to Uganda Deborah Malac said in a statement here Monday that Uganda and several other refugee-hosting countries would share the additional US funding amounting 639 million US dollars to be utilised to care for those fleeing the fighting and insecurity in countries such as Nigeria, Somalia and also Yemen on the Arabian Peninsula.

The refugee situation in Uganda has reached crisis level with the number of refugees in the country topping the 1.3-million mark recently, making Uganda the third largest refugee-hosting country in the world after Pakistan and Turkey.

This influx has put increased pressure on the government of Uganda, local hosting communities, and international relief organisations to provide food, shelter, protection, water and other basic services, Malac said in her statement.

Both WFP (World Food Programme) and UNHCR (United Nations High Commissions for Refugees) face significant funding gaps and are struggling to keep up with rising demands of a growing refugee population, leading to shortages and wider insecurity.

Malac noted that the US remained the single largest donor of humanitarian assistance in affected areas. However, she added, the US could not continue to shoulder the responsibility alone. As needs continue to arise, the rest of the international donor community, particularly those which do not historically respond to humanitarian crises, must contribute more to prevent a broader disaster, she said.

Since last year, the US has provided 187.4 million USD in humanitarian assistance for the refuge situation in Uganda.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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