President Yoweri Museveni has said the biggest challenge in handling and settling refugees is lack of resources that is hindering the provision of the support they need.
Uganda received more than half a million new refugees from South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi last year with South Sudan alone accounting for 238,145, Dr. Congo 215,309, Somalia 38, 176, Burundi 40,874,Rwanda 17,616, Eritrea 11,328, Sudan 3,103, Ethiopia 2,790 and others 1,034 bring the total number to 568,414 according to UNHCR Uganda office.
“Resources are a challenge. Otherwise these refugees are our people from Somalia, South Sudan and Rwanda. I thank the United Nations for supporting the education of refugees in Uganda. Education and skills are very important for refugees in camps,” he said.
The President was recently meeting Rt Hon Priti Patel the British Secretary of State for International Development at the Prime Minister`s Palace in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
According to the WFP Uganda now hosts more refugees than any other country in Africa. At the beginning of the year, WFP was assisting 380,000 refugees in Uganda; by October that number had grown by 70 percent to 650,000 refugees. The food requirements are substantial – US$12 million per month – almost double the monthly requirement prior to the recent influx.
The President and his guest discussed various issues on the causes of conflicts in some of the African countries including Somalia and possible solutions that can lead to sustainable peace, stability and development.
President Museveni explained that many conflicts in African 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, Rt Hon. Priti Patel invited President Museveni to attend a conference on Somalia in the United Kingdom. She said that the British government is working on the Humanitarian challenges and on the issues of refugees adding that they need a peaceful approach to the conflict in South Sudan. She said Uganda has done a recommendable job in peace initiatives.
Hon. Patel was accompanied by the British Ambassador to Ethiopia Susanna Moorehead among others.