Hon. Sam Kutesa delivers a statement at a side event
“Uganda’s Transformational Approach to Refugees and Host
On Wednesday 14th December 2016, on the margins of the High-Level Conference of the UN Central Emergency Response Fund, the Permanent Mission of Uganda to the United Nations in New York, in partnership with the UN Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) held a High-level side event at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. The purpose of the event was to highlight the work and challenges faced by Uganda’s leaders and partners in implementing the transformational approach to addressing vulnerabilities and refugee needs in the country.
The event which was co-chaired by Hon Sam Kutesa Minister of Foreign Affairs, focused on experiences and approaches Uganda has had for the influx of refugees to date and highlighted current response by the international community and existing infrastructural and financing gaps. Participants who included representatives of member States, business leaders and others in the event were also invited to consider investing in Uganda. The event included a high level panel discussion that explored the current response, challenges and opportunities in redefining the response to refugees and host communities, national leadership & accountability, understanding the new Partnerships for action and listening to the new modalities for investment.
Speaking at a Media Briefing to the UN Press Corps last evening, Hon Sam Kutesa said, “... even as Uganda remains committed to maintaining one of the most progressive refugee policies; guaranteeing refugees’ rights to work, movement and basic social services the international community needs to lend more support towards Uganda’s refugee crisis that is exerting immense pressure on the country’s infrastructure and host communities because of chronic underfunding” To compound these challenges further, Kutesa explained that Uganda has experienced a prolonged drought and the food security situation has deteriorated due to poor water and harvest management practices in some of the host communities.
In his statement, Hon Kutesa who led a cross-sectoral delegation to New York including senior representatives from the Office of the Prime Minister, he called for international partnerships with Uganda’s Settlement Transformation Project (2016-2021), under the National Development Plan that aims to achieve self-reliance and local settlement of refugees, and to promote social development in the refugee hosting areas as a durable solution to challenges related to refugees, while protecting national and local interests.
The event further served to showcase innovative action by Uganda to overcome challenges in their response to host communities, refugees as well as those affected by climate change; it identified suggestions to reinforce modalities for investment and aid as well as partnerships for action in response to existing and projected needs. XXXX END