Many partners who pledged to give Uganda funds at a solidarity summit on refugees held in Kampala in 2017 have reneged on those promises, putting into jeopardy the country’s open door policy on refugees.
Uganda currently hosts 1,313,802 refugees largely from DR Congo and South Sudan.
In November 2018 UN office of Internal Oversight Services released the damming report highlighting major fraud and corruptions in the operations of the UN refugee’s agencies in Uganda, consequently there has been a massive decline in funding to support refugees.
Now refugees are bearing the brunt with some crossing back to their countries to cultivate the land for food.
While addressing the media on Thursday ,the United Nation High Commission for Refugees representative in Uganda, Joel Boutroue, noted that they are facing a number of challenges in executing their duties due to lack of enough funds.
“We are struggling in maintaining the level of services we should offer to refugees. We have a lot of difficulties in maintaining certain access to education so this translating into suffering. It translates into a lot of frustration if not despair by youth that are seeing their future getting dim and dimmer,” he noted.
He noted that the funding gap means that the refuges support programmes like construction of classrooms, support to health centres and planting trees to combat deforestation are being crippled.
He said the commission has set up certain measures to tighten its financial management mechanisms.
“We introduced very transparent, I would say water tight system where we started with comprehensive evaluation of performance of all partners,” he noted.
Last week week the minister for Relief and Disaster Preparedness, Hilary Onek called upon refugee agencies and its partners to give government accountability of activities they fund.
However, Boutroue noted that the commission always issue out quarterly reports on achievements and challenges, so there is transparency.
“We issue reports on the quarterly basis on achievements, the funds…there is transparency. I think what need to do is the way we share information,” he added.