By Samuel Opio
The U.S. government and the American people are demonstrating their continued support for the refugee response in Uganda with nearly $83 million (about Shs310 billion) in additional humanitarian assistance by the end of the U.S. fiscal year 2018.
In a statement issued by the US Embassy on Wednesday, this new funding includes a $40 million (about Shs150b) contribution to the United Nations World Food Programme, a $29 million (about Shs110b) contribution to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and nearly $14 million to support the work of other international and non-governmental organizations. Including this new funding, the U.S. provided a total of $139 million in fiscal year 2018 in support of the Uganda refugee response.
This emergency humanitarian aid, provided by the U.S. government, will help meet the immediate food, protection, shelter, water and sanitation, psychosocial, and other life-saving assistance needs of refugees and host communities.
This assistance prioritizes procurement of food from Ugandan and regional farmers. The U.S. also continues to leverage development and humanitarian resources to build self-reliance and resilience among the refugees and Ugandans in refugee-hosting districts, including support for livelihoods and nutrition.
Through this funding, the U.S. government also supports the United Nations’ implementation of biometric registration and a new biometric-based food distribution system, which will help elevate standards of accountability, transparency, safety, and dignity in refugee food assistance.
Uganda is the largest refugee-hosting country in Africa. Relief agencies and the Government of Uganda continue to work together to meet the life-saving needs of refugees, including those who have fled conflict in South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The United States is the largest single donor of humanitarian assistance in Uganda, supporting emergency food and nutrition assistance, medical care, water, prevention of and response to gender-based violence, and livelihoods support to refugees in Uganda as well as their Ugandan host communities.