Korea aid to bridge need for refugees

Saturday July 21 2018

Newly arrived refugees from South Sudan sell

Newly arrived refugees from South Sudan sell food at the Ngomoromo border post, in Uganda, on April 10, 2017. Uganda is hosting more than one million South Sudanese refugees. PHOTO FILE | AFP 

By JULIUS BARIGABA
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With a huge funding gap for the refugee crisis in Uganda, achieving food security remains a big task for the hosts and the international community, even as some donors seek to meet the minimum food needs of the refugees.

The refugee population in Uganda is edging towards 1.5 million — the third largest in the world behind Jordan and Turkey — but the UN refugee agency says that as of April 2018, out of the $470 million financial requirements for this year, only 10 per cent was funded.

This lacklustre response to the crisis, erodes efforts towards the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, which include ending hunger as majority of refugees fail to have their basic food nutrition needs met.

But on July 13, the Republic of Korea came to the aid of refugees, with 5,000 tonnes of rice handed to the World Food Programme and the Uganda government, to cater for minimum food needs of some 420,000 refugees in seven settlements.

Korea ambassador to Uganda Kim You-churl, who handed over the rice to Uganda’s Junior Minister for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees Musa Ecweru and WFP Country Director El Khidir Daloum, appreciated the enormity of the refugee challenge borne by Uganda.