Over US$ 358 million has been realised in form pledges and contributions towards supporting refugees and refugee-hosting communities.
During the Refugee Solidarity Summit held at Speke Resort Hotel Munyonyo today, Japan and Germany announced donations of US$50 million each, while the European Union pledged US$95 million. Other donors included Kenya with US$200,000 and Equatorial Guinea with US$ 100, 00 among other countries.
Currently Uganda hosts over 1.2 million refugees, 950,000 of who are from South Sudan, 220,000 from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and 37,000 from Burundi.
Bidibidi refugee and resettlement camp in North West Uganda is home to over 400,000 refugees mainly from South Sudan, who fled hostilities following the civil war that broke up in the country over two years ago because of competing interests between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar.
Speaking at the summit the Secretary General of the United Nations (UN) Antonio Gutierrez lauded Ugandans for their generosity towards the refugees.
“International solidarity with Uganda is not generosity but justice, your solidarity today is a must,” the UN Secretary General said, and called upon the international community to emulate Uganda’s gesture.
Guterres added: “While others put up barriers to keep refugees out of their countries, Uganda has a welcoming record of numbers with compassion and empathy.”
During the summit refugees from various countries shared their experiences about Uganda’s hospitality.
“Please support Uganda as it stands with us, support our future because our destiny is in your hands,” Hindiyo AbdulKadir, a Somali teenager who has lived in Uganda for over 10 years said, adding that “in Uganda, we are safe; we can access education among other basic needs.”