News article

UK lifeline of assistance to help Congolese refugees in Uganda

UK provides emergency food rations for 105,000 and shelter, healthcare and schooling for 40,000 Congolese refugees who have fled into Uganda

Britain is providing emergency food rations for 105,000 and shelter, healthcare and schooling for 40,000 refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo who have fled into neighbouring Uganda.

A new £6.3 million grant to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the UN World Food Programme (WFP) follows a sharp increase in the number of refugees who have fled fighting and unrest in the North Kivu and Orientale provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo since the start of the year.

Existing aid supplies in the region have been severely depleted following a sharp rise in refugees in the region.

In total, since the beginning of 2012, over 115,000 new Congolese refugees have been assisted in Uganda, with more arriving on a daily basis.

International Development Minister Lynne Featherstone said:

Thousands of families who have fled into Uganda could face hunger and destitution unless aid agencies get the supplies they need. Our support will help families to survive and begin to rebuild their lives.

The UK’s funding will allow UNHCR and WFP to continue their support to refugees in in Bundibugyo, Kisoro and Koboko districts in western Uganda along the border with DRC, including transit centres and settlements.

UNHCR and its partners have been providing shelter, household items, healthcare and nutrition, water and sanitation services, and various protection activities for children and adults while the WFP has provided food rations.

Britain’s support will enable the UNHCR and WFP to continue their support into the first quarter of next year. This will include:

  • Purchase of full food rations for 105,000 refugees for a period of 3 months.
  • Registration, transport, shelter, health services and clean water for 40,000 new arrivals.
  • One health centre and one school constructed and opened in Kyangwali refugee settlement.

WFP provides food that is cooked for refugees while they are at the transit centres, and then provides monthly family rations when they are relocated to settlements.

UNHCR supports refugees countrywide through five transit centres and eight settlements in north and southwest Uganda and in Kampala. Over 65 per cent of the more than 234,000 refugees in Uganda are from the DRC with most of the remainder originating from South Sudan, Somalia, Rwanda and Burundi. About 70 per cent of refugees have arrived in the last five years.