Civil society organizations are urging government to stop treating the refugee issue like a humanitarian situation and come up with a clear financing workplans to cater to refugees.
Julius Mukunda, the executive director CSBAG, said that there is a lot of money being spent on refugees from both government and funders but no one is in position to account for it.
He adds that Uganda has had refugees for decades and it is high time the Ministry of Finance came up with a long term workplan to support them sustainably.
Following the implementation of an open door policy, refugee’s numbers have grown 1.4 million refugees according to the 2017 reports from the Office of the Prime Minister.
Currently Uganda has over 986,626 refugees from South Sudan, 236,406 refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Somalia, Eritrea among other 83 % being hosted by Yumba,Arua and Adjumani districts.
“The fast growing refugee population has continued to strain Uganda’s modest resources and such Uganda relies heavily on external support to fund the refugee operations,” noted Julius Mukunda.
In the financial year 2016/2017 the office of the prime minister spent over 1.4 million shillings on refugee management, and United Nations development programme (UNDP)is estimated Uganda’s expenditure on refugee in the same financial year over 1,130 billion.
“Data on financing refugee response in Uganda is fragmented and insufficient with each implementing partner keeping their expenditure data at the institutional level, this makes hard to effectively track flows,” added CSBAG’s John Mark Agong.
Mukunda suggested a synchronized standard for financing refugees and reporting about the funds. He said this would make it easier for the country to anticipate and meet needs of the refugees and the host districts.