Kenya: Uganda receives most new refugees worldwide

Nairobi, Kenya (PANA) - Uganda received the largest number of new refugees last year, more than half a million, according to new displacement figures launched by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees on Monday.

At the same time, 65.6 million people were displaced due to war and persecution at the beginning of 2017, the Norwegian Refugee Council, said in a news dispatch Monday.

For the fifth year in a row, the number of people displaced worldwide continued to increase from an already historically high level. And the matter is of great concern to the Council,  whose Secretary General, Jan Egeland, Monday called on the international community to support Uganda.

“The system protecting refugees will collapse if we do not step up our support to countries like Uganda. The richest and most stable countries from Europe to the US do their uttermost to keep refugees away," he said.

''At the same time, they are not adequately funding reception of refugees in poor host countries,” he added.

“The refugee crisis continues unabated behind the walls and barriers Australian, US and European leaders have erected. It may have disappeared from their view, but remains a stain on our global conscience,” said Egeland.

In the shadow of the ongoing crises in Syria and Iraq, conflicts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria and South Sudan forced millions of people to flee their homes.

South Sudan, the world´s fastest growing refugee crisis, has by now forced 1.9 million people to flee across the border. About half of these are currently finding safety in Uganda, said the Norwegian body.

Despite this, the country has received only 17 per cent of the money needed to provide the most basic support to refugees and host communities so far this year.

This week, world leaders meet in Kampala for a Solidarity Summit on Refugees, where they are expected to pledge additional support to countries hosting large numbers of refugees.

“About 2,000 people crossed the border from South Sudan into Uganda each day over the last 12 months. Borders must be kept open, but we cannot expect a country like Uganda to shoulder the entire bill,” said Egeland.

He called on all countries to step up to the challenges the world is currently facing:

“The historic high displacement figures must foster more dedicated work for political solutions, increase funding to meet humanitarian needs, and bring a larger willingness among all countries to take their share of the responsibility.”

“If we fail, we will be faced with a more unstable world, where the alarming high displacement figures will only continue to increase,” said Egeland.
-0- PANA DJ/VAO 19June2017

19 june 2017 14:03:59




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