The Edge: DRC Refugees in Uganda
With multiple conflicts stretching across vast areas of the country, The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is one of the world’s most complex and long-standing humanitarian situations.
Civilians here are exposed to gross human rights violations, sexual and gender-based violence, chronic malnutrition, and various health epidemics including the serious spread of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).
DRC Refugees in Uganda
Host to the fastest growing refugee crisis in the world, Uganda is Africa’s leading refugee hosting country, and the third largest in the world after Turkey and Pakistan. In March 2019, UNHCR estimated that there were nearly 1,240,000 refugees in the country, over a quarter of whom are from DRC. The Uganda Refugee Response Plan (RRP) estimates a total of 120,000 new arrivals from DRC, between 2019 and 2020.
Uganda has a good refugee protection environment, providing refugees with freedom of movement, the right to work and create their own businesses, the right to documentation and access to social services. The country uses a non-camp settlement policy, where refugees are allocated relatively good sized plots of land for shelter and agricultural production.
Despite this positive approach, the current joint response plan states that 80% of refugees in Uganda live under the international poverty line of $1.9 a day. As a developing country with the highest refugee population in Africa (1.4m and rising), Uganda doesn’t have sufficient funds to fulfil all the goals set out, and the response plan for Congolese refugees in Uganda is only 2% funded.
Kyaka II refugee camp
Kyaka II refugee camp receives 7% of these arrivals, with over 65% being children, who often suffer extreme trauma after witnessing the brutality of war and displacement. They face serious child protection risks and have nowhere safe to go during the day. A number of NGOs are providing primary education in Kyaka II, but early years education provision is limited for the youngest refugee children, at a vital time in their development.
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