By Spy Uganda
Education Cannot Wait (ECW) announced today a rapid US$4.1 million grant in response to Uganda’s evolving and escalating influx of refugees. ECW’s total funding in Uganda now tops US$76.7 million.
The 12-month grant will be delivered by UNHCR and Save the Children, and reach over 130,000 children and adolescents in the areas of Uganda that have been most affected by recent influxes of refugees, including Nakivale, Rwamwanja, Palabek and Rhino Camp. The new investment aligns closely with the Government of Uganda’s Education Response Plan for Refugees and Host Communities.
“With more refugees seeking safety in Uganda, we must fully support the Government of Uganda’s Education Response Plan and ensure children and adolescents can quickly access protective learning environments, mental health and psychosocial services, school meals, scholastic materials, classrooms and teachers,” said Yasmine Sherif, Executive Director of Education Cannot Wait, the United Nations global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises.
Uganda hosts the largest refugee population in Africa and the third largest in the world. With armed conflicts, climate change and other crises affecting neighbouring countries, the number of refugees arriving in Uganda has jumped substantially in recent years.
In 2022, over 140,000 refugees entered Uganda, primarily from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan. UNHCR expects an additional 120,000 will arrive this year.
While the Government of Uganda has taken substantial steps to provide access to essential services – including education to refugees – schools are crowded, resources are strained, and girls and boys face increased risks of child marriage, early pregnancy, hunger, dropping out, post-traumatic stress and other challenges.
“Many refugees arrive in Uganda having experienced several cycles of violence, with urgent protection and life-saving assistance needs,” said Matthew Crentsil, UNHCR Country Representative.
“Save the Children appreciates the contribution by Education Cannot Wait towards ensuring that newly arrived refugee children are provided with learning in safe environments,” said Dragana Strinic, Save the Children Country Director, Uganda.
The investment will increase the capacity of early childhood development centres, non-formal education, and primary and secondary schools across the targeted areas, supporting the enrolment of additional learners and new arrivals.