Update: Uganda: At the heart of the refugee crisis

Report
from Télécoms Sans Frontières
Published on 11 Aug 2017 View Original

TSF at the heart of Africa’s biggest refugee crisis

With one of the world's largest immigration strains, Uganda is currently home to over 1.3 million refugees. To the north, South Sudan, where years of war, chronic civil instability and famine have forced almost one million South Sudanese people to seek refuge across the border, with more than two thirds having arrived in Uganda since the outbreak of violence in South Sudanese capital, Juba in July 2016. To the west, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a country where tens of thousands of civilians have been caught up in series of violence between the Congolese authorities and local militia groups, leading to the exodus of more than 220,000 people.

In order to respond to the arrival of refugees from neighbouring countries, various settlements have been constructed in Uganda's border regions to house the influx of families that is showing no sign of holding up. As the strain on the country is increasing, Télécoms Sans Frontières deployed a team in July 2017 to respond to the needs of the refugee populations.

On the ground, TSF is working closely both alongside the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), local NGOs and importantly, refugee families in order to identify the domains in which its strategy will have the most impact, notably in the northern district of Arua in the Imvepi and Rhino Camp settlements.

Indeed, many of the areas in which settlements have been set up are in zones that are not entirely covered by the internet and voice services. TSF is placing its services and expertise at the heart of its surveys to ensure that both the populations and the humanitarian communities are provided with necessary tools and means to communicate at the heart of this ongoing crisis.