UNHCR Uganda narrates COVID-19 caused horrors, fears funding shortfalls 2021

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Congolese refugees perform a traditional dance at Kyangwali refugee camp in Kikuube District in 2017.

The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in Uganda has narrated the challenges it has gone through during the year 2020 in which COVID-19 plagued the world.

In an interview with Kazi-njema News, Mr Rocco Nuri, the External Relations Officer at the UNHCR, Kampala, said the year has indeed been challenging to the refugees and humanitarian workers across the country.

He talks about funding shortfalls that even forced the World Food Programme to cut food rations in April this year and the lockdown that constrained the refugee livelihood as key indicators of the challenges that refugees have been facing.

Audio: Nuri on challenges (English)

Mr Nuri commends the government of Uganda for the generosity displayed to the world when it opened its border that had been closed as one of the COVID-19 control measures in June.

More than 2,000 refugees had been stuck on no-man’s land at the border between the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Uganda.

Audio: Nuri on border opening (English)

The officer is a little bit scared that the global funding shortfall could affect the refugees in Uganda again.

To the refugees psychologically tortured by the COVID-19 caused challenges Mr Nuri advised them to always seek counselling services from counsellors in the community.

He wishes the refugee population a Happy New Year 2021.

Audio: Nuri on way forward (English)

The numbers

Uganda is home to more than 1.4 million refugees with the majority coming from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and South Sudan.

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