INGOs for continuation of assistance to refugees in Uganda

Published: 15 Mar 2018

We, the undersigned International Non-Governmental Organisations (INGOs), are taking the allegations of fraud and corruption in the South Sudanese refugee response in Uganda seriously and urge that they are urgently investigated and appropriate measures and sanctions are taken.

We are concerned that these allegations are impacting donors’ and UN agencies allocation of funds for this humanitarian crisis, leading to further suffering and loss of human lives. We urge donors not to let the corruption allegations undermine the support needed by refugees and their host communities in Uganda. To date the 2018 South Sudanese Refugee Response Plan has mobilised only four per cent of the needed resources and in 2017, the response plan was only 37 per cent funded. Furthermore, we are concerned about the impact on our ability to respond to the increasing number of Congolese refugees arriving into Uganda. As at early March 2018, 70 per cent of the number of expected refugees from DRC have already entered Uganda, evidencing the need to revisit plans, resources required, and invest in preparedness.

Many Congolese, South Sudanese and refugees from other countries who arrive in Uganda have suffered human rights abuses and experienced or witnessed atrocities. Many lost their loved ones during their flight. Majority arrive exhausted, thirsty, hungry, mentally affected and traumatised, after having spent several days fleeing their homes. They are in need of immediate lifesaving assistance, psycho-social support, education, protection and help to rebuild their lives.
Some International Non-Governmental Organisations have already mobilised their own resources to fill gaps, but more funding is needed for emergency preparedness and response as INGOs’ own resources are limited. One immediate consequence of already-seen funding shortages is the current outbreak of cholera in the Congolese refugee hosting districts with 1,257 cases and 34 deaths as of March 1 (source: MOH) due to sub-standard water, sanitation and hygiene conditions.

The Government of Uganda has one of the most progressive refugee policies in the world granting freedom of movement, the right to work, access to social services, and provision of land. Investigations into alleged irregularities should effectively deal with those that have misused funding and power to their own benefit.
Meanwhile, the international community should continue to support the Government of Uganda to implement its policy as Congolese, South Sudanese and other refugees continue to run for safety into Uganda. In the spirit of responsibility-sharing encapsulated in the New York Declaration, the ongoing implementation of the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework in Uganda should be fully supported and resourced to guarantee effective immediate response as well as building resilience and self-reliance amongst refugees and host communities.

Undersigned by the following organisations:
Action Against Hunger; ADRA; BRAC; Diakonia; CARE; Catholic Relief Services; CESVI; Danish Church Aid; Danish Refugees Council; Deutsche Welthungerhilfe e.V.; GOAL; Finn Church Aid, Food for Hungry; ICCA Cooperation; International Refugees Rights Initiative; International Rescue Committee; humanity & inclusion; Medical Teams International; Norwegian Refugee Council; Oxfam; Plan International; Soccer Without Borders; SNV Netherlands Development Organisation; Voluntary Services Overseas; War Child Holland; The Johanniter; Trócaire; The Lutheran World Federation; The Save the Children; WoMena; ZOA


Programmes: Rights in Exile
Regions: Great Lakes Region, Uganda
Type: Open Letter