President Museveni has pledged a mega USD1m (about Shs3.6bn) towards newly created African Union Humanitarian Agency.
The announcement has been made through his vice president Maj. Jessica Alupo Epel.
Alupo who’s also the woman MP for Katakwi is currently in Malabo-Equatorial Guinea where she’s leading Uganda’s delegation at the ongoing AU Extra-Ordinary Summit on terrorism and unconstitutional change of governments.
The Humanitarian Agency seeks to find collective methods to address humanitarian status in Africa.
Alupo noted that Africa continues to face some of the most complex humanitarian emergencies.
“In some cases, these are as a result of natural and human induced disasters, but in very many ways,others are driven by conflicts leading to mass displacements of persons both within and across national borders” Alupo said.
She said there’s need for responsibility and burden sharing, noting that “No Government can handle the present massive humanitarian situation alone.
The Vice President who gave a comprehensive background of the refugee status in Uganda, said the country is currently hosting 1,582,076 refugees.
“This is the highest number in Africa ” she said adding that Uganda operates one of the most progressive open-door policies on refugees anchored in the 2006 Refugees Act and the 2010 Refugees Regulations.
She explained that the policy guarantees freedom of movement and the right to employment, education and health, as well as the right to conduct a business. She said the policy grants them (refugees) the same rights that citizens enjoy.
Alupo also rallied for more international support towards refugees, and host communities. “94% of these refugees live in settlements alongside host communities”, she said.
Meanwhile, President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea recalled his experience with the refugee community when he visited both Ethiopia and Uganda, saying the solution to avert the refugee crisis on the continent is for Africa to unite and stop the discrimination against fellow Africans. “These, if unchecked, force displacement”, adding that “the solution is in our hands”, announcing his pledge to the African humanitarian agency as well.
In another development, the AU chairperson who is also President of Senegal Macky Sall urged leaders to address root causes of humanitarian crises in Africa, saying “prevention” is better and “easier than cure”