Uganda is currently hosting 1,394,678 refugees and continues to receive simultaneous arrivals from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), South Sudan and Burundi.
The number of South Sudanese refugees in Uganda is over eight hundred thousand, and arrivals from the DRC have been on the rise since the beginning of 2020.
Chronic underfunding of the refugee response threatens the ability of humanitarian organisations to continue delivering lifesaving and critical assistance.
Implementation of the Global Compact on Refugees and its Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF)
The Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) is in its fourth year of implementation in Uganda. This builds on considerable progress made since 2017, when the Government of Uganda launched this multi-stakeholder and partnership approach to the refugee response. The Ugandan approach promotes self-reliance for refugees and measures to ease the pressure on refugee-hosting districts. The National Plan of Action to implement the Global Compact on Refugees and its CRRF, define the milestones to be reached until the end of 2020.
An important element of the CRRF in Uganda is inclusion of refugees in national planning and local development. In order to ease pressure on refugee-hosting districts and to enhance service delivery for both refugees and host communities, comprehensive sectoral plans have been formulated which link the refugee response to government sector plans. The plans also enable Uganda to clearly highlight where the international community may usefully channel support for a comprehensive and people-centred response in its refugee hosting districts. UNHCR has aligned its strategies with these comprehensive plans and supports the coordination structures for CRRF implementations, such as the Secretariat for the Education Response Plan for (ERP) and the CRRF Secretariat in OPM which provides services for the CRRF Steering Group.
Whereas refugees had already been included in the National Development Plan II (2016 – 2020) through the Settlement Transformative Agenda (STA), they are mainstreamed across sectors in planning and statistical products within NDP III, which will enter into effect on 01 July 2020. Refugee-hosting districts will now include refugees in their planning for the next five years. UNHCR is working closely with the refugee-hosting districts to provide analysis on refugees in the settlements and support the planning processes for these District Development Plans (DDPs).
UNHCRs continues to foster a multi-stakeholder and partnership approach and to strengthen its convening role aimed at mobilizing and coordinating support, particularly regarding economic and social inclusion. Close collaboration with development partners has allowed for the handover of activities, which were previously funded by UNHCR, such as Refugee and Host Population Empowerment (ReHope) projects and livelihoods. Development partners have also extended services for water and environment, allowing UNHCR to play a more catalytic and coordination role.