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UN’s Filippo Grandi lauds Uganda’s Refugee Policy

The United Nations High Commissioner for refugees His Excellency Filippo Grandi, visited the country this month on a Nationwide tour of various refugee camps including Bidi Bidi, one of the world’s largest settlements in West Nile. He noted the progress in the welfare of those displaced and thanked the government for its inclusive ‘refugee model’ in addition to donor support.

A quick search online will reveal to you that Uganda is one of world’s most hospitable countries. Besides the tourists who flock here every year from all over the world, Uganda hosts one of the largest refugee populations at a staggering 1.4 million making up almost 4% of the country’s total population.

It come as no surprise that many would seek refuge in the Pearl of Africa not just because it is secure and hospitable but because it’s ‘refugee policy’ has been considered one of the most progressive and practical around the world. By allowing refugees to work and move freely, Uganda grants millions the opportunity to start a new life as opposed to fully relying on donor aid.

‘I thanked President Kaguta Museveni for Uganda’s generous refugee policy, which has proven its success. He assured me that his country will remain open and inclusive for people fleeing violence and conflict.’-Grandi

Due to the instability in neighboring countries such as Sudan and The Democratic Republic of Congo, the influx of refugees continue to grow forcing the government to find solutions for these displaced persons. Some of the services accessible to refugees also include; healthcare, education and the right to employment among many others.

“Uganda has continued to maintain an open-door policy to refugees based on traditional African Hospitality and not turning away anybody who is running to us for safety.” said Honorable Hilary Onek, Minister for Relief Disaster Preparedness and Refugees.

H.E Filippo Grandi on a tour of one the refugee settlements.

Despite the progress, the Minister noted that there was still a lot to be done; he called upon the World Bank and donors to increase the funding it extended to the refugees in order to achieve some of the goals targeted in the 13th Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework meeting held in Kampala last week. He also addressed issues concerning corruption in regards to the refugee response fund and it was made clear that all allegations would be investigated and dealt with.

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