As conflicts, famine, and economic collapse intensify in South Sudan, so has the influx of refugees to Uganda. Since the outbreak of violence in South Sudan, families have been torn apart and forced to flee their homes faster than any other nation on the planet. According to UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency), “Uganda currently hosts more than 834,000 South Sudanese refugees, with over 194,000 new arrivals in 2017 alone. Eighty-six percent are women and children, including some 21,000 minors without parents or a legal guardian”. These streams of arrivals have taken a toll on Uganda that hosts nearly half of the 1.6 million that have fled.
On top of that, Uganda also hosts about 155,742 Congolese refugees, most of which are single parents/ single mothers, persons with medical needs, trauma survivors, and unaccompanied or separated children. UNHCR and partners need more than $558 million to respond to the needs of refugees in Uganda, including food, water, shelter and livelihoods. Uganda has one of the World’s most compassionate refugee policies that grants refugees land to build a home, travel, and work; which is practically unheard of anywhere else in the world. But this policy has taken a toll on Uganda. According to Filippo Grandi, the UN’s highest commissioner for refugees, Uganda is now “at breaking point”. Solomon Osakan, an official with the Ugandan government shares “Unfortunately, funding has also not been going at the pace at which refugees are arriving.”
The international community should show more responsibility to the world’s fastest refugee crisis by taking action. The UN has requested $781 million (£625m) to care for the 1.6 million people coming out of South Sudan. So far, it has received just 8%.