Today’s World Refugee Day is an opportunity to reflect on the many refugee crises around the world and work together to improve the opportunities for refugees to thrive. While the crisis in Syria has dominated the news, violence and famine in South Sudan has led 1.6 million to flee to other countries. The crisis has led to Uganda becoming Africa’s largest refugee host, currently experiencing the world’s largest arrival of new refugees.
Uganda not only shoulders an incredible burden, but offers some of the most compassionate refugee laws in the world: refugees are allowed to work, live side-by-side with Ugandans, and enjoy public services. For the 900,000 refugees fleeing to Uganda to escape violence and famine in South Sudan, the country’s warm welcome can be lifesaving.
Yet Uganda has received only 17% of the funds needed to provide basic services to the refugee and host communities. Uganda alone cannot bear the burden of service provision for today’s refugees. More than 50,000 refugees from South Sudan alone have fled to the district of Kiryandongo, which has a population of about 320,000.
Today as we celebrate World Refugee Day, learn more about the crisis in South Sudan and its strain on Uganda, and join us in supporting the district of Kiryandongo to provide clean water and dignified sanitation to both Ugandans and the refugees they welcome.
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