Uganda + 5 more

OPM-UNHCR Verification Exercise: Update, 24 October 2018

News and Press Release
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The countrywide verification exercise that started on 1st March 2018 was completed on 24th October 2018. The total population of asylum-seekers and refugees verified was 1,091,024 individuals. This represents 75.5% of the estimated target of 1.4 million registered persons. More detailed results and updated population figures of asylumseekers and refugees in Uganda will be made available soon.

The two remaining verification teams completed the exercise on Wednesday in Bidibidi settlement and in Kampala, for the urban population. On the last days, the turnout reduced to a trickle an indication that the verification can be concluded which was jointly agreed by OPM and UNHCR.

In Bidibidi, a total of 223,939 individuals were verified since the exercise started on 4th April 2018 in the five zones of the settlement. This represents 78% of the initial target. The last three days were reserved to absentees who missed the verification on their allocated days. Towards the end of the exercise, fraud attempts by persons attempting to be verified were on the rise leading to additional scrutiny at all stages of the process. In the last three days alone, 418 persons (in 90 households) presented genuine refugee documents that do not belong to them and were denied verification. The majority were nationals.

In Kampala, a total of 47,485 individuals were verified since the exercise started on 10th September for the urban population of asylum-seekers and refugees. This represents 46% of the initial target, including a wide variety of nationalities and a number of protection cases that were addressed by UNHCR and partners on the ground. Fraud attempts in Kampala were mostly presentation of fraudulent documents and middlemen who were found to be collecting money from persons of concern claiming they could provide access to verification and documentation.

Antifraud messaging was reinforced towards the end to address these concerns.
OPM and UNHCR appreciates the contribution of all those who made the verification possible, including settlement administrations, partners on the ground and refugees who supported the exercise.