Uganda ‘at breaking point’ as South Sudanese refugees our in

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The government of Uganda and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) are calling for urgent support for the thousands of South Sudan refugees who enter Uganda on a daily basis.

Uganda’s prime minister, Rt. Hon. Ruhakana Rugunda, says the country is at breaking point as the influx of refugees from South Sudan continues. Uganda currently hosts more than 800,000 refugees from South Sudan – more than 500,000 of whom arrived since July last year.

 

Calls for support

“Uganda has continued to maintain open borders,” the country’s PM said on Friday. “But this unprecedented mass influx is placing enormous strain on our public services and local infrastructure. We continue to welcome our neighbours in their time of need but we urgently need the international community to assist as the situation is becoming increasingly critical.”

UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi echoed the PM’s sentiments during the joint statement last week.

“We are at breaking point,” he said. “Uganda cannot handle Africa’s largest refugee crisis alone.

“The lack of international attention to the suffering of the South Sudanese people is failing some of the most vulnerable people in the world when they most desperately need our help,” he added.

 

Conflict, drought and starvation

Life is becoming increasingly difficult for many people in South Sudan. After years of crippling civil war, the country now faces a drought that is exacerbating a food shortage that was already putting millions of lives in danger.

The South Sudanese government appears to be doing nothing to protect its most vulnerable people, or even make it easier for international aid agencies to reach them.

Meanwhile, Uganda maintains one of the most progressive policies across Africa on accepting refugees. However, the system isn’t sustainable with the mass entry of refugees coming in from South Sudan right now – forcing the country and UNHCR to appeal for international aid.

 

Featured image: By UN_refugee.jpg: UNHCRderivative work: Montgomery (talk) – UN_refugee.jpg, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=14989407

 

 

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.