Gov’t Considers Borrowing $280 Million to Support Refugee Hosting Districts

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The government of Uganda, through the Ministry of Relief and Disaster Preparedness, is considering borrowing $280 million to support refugee hosting districts.

Hillary Onek, Minister of Relief and Disaster Preparedness, has revealed plans by the government to borrow funds from the World Bank to support refugees living in various districts of Uganda.

Onek made these remarks while appearing before the parliamentary committee on presidential affairs, which questioned the benefits accrued from hosting refugees given the low funding the ministry receives.

Onek said that the country is hosting over 1.5 million refugees from 33 countries with a challenge of low funding.

“We are now negotiating with the World Bank for more money—US$280 million (Shs1.059 trillion)—to go again to those districts this time around, to enforce on whatever we have done, and in the next project, we shall expand to cover transit districts for refugees like Bundibugyo, Amuru, Kisoro, and Kitgum,” Onek said.

“To ensure that the services meet the demand of the kind of population that is coming from those districts hosting refugees, there should be new infrastructure development, including schools, health centres, and even bridges and roads,” he added.

He stated that for districts without refugees,the status quo would remain and that funds would be disbursed to districts that have already been hosting refugees.

With over 1.5 million refugees, Uganda spends USD 1.3 billion (UGX 4.944 trillion) on refugee response each year.

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