The civil war in South Sudan has taken its toll on neighboring country Uganda, with the number of South Sudanese refugees in Uganda now reaching the million mark.
Many of these refugees make the journey across the border, not just because of the Uganda’s proximity, but also as a result of the country’s welcoming approach to hosting refugees. Based on a concept of self-help assistance, refugees receive land and materials on arrival to put up their own shelters, as well as seeds and hoes to grow their own food. This concept aims at ensuring a self-reliant life for the refugees in the long term.
“Uganda is however beginning to reach the limits of its capacity. One million people need space and support,” said Alexander Tacke-Köster, Program Coordination for Malteser International in Uganda. “We offer support by providing improved supply of clean drinking water for 30,000 refugees. Although the number of arrivals are declining, an end to the influx of refugees is not in sight.”
Roland Hansen, Head of the Africa Department at Malteser International has also pointed out Germany’s significant role in the aid intervention. “By providing aid for these refugees, we are reducing the strain on Uganda’s resources”, he said. The German Federal Foreign Office has released an additional one million euros to upscale Malteser International’s ongoing aid projects for South Sudanese refugees in Uganda. And Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel will visit Uganda tomorrow, August 9, to personally gather an on-site impression of the current situation.