Government has applauded Japan for its generous support towards the refugee communities in Uganda.
This year, Japan contributed to Uganda, $9.8 million (approximately 36 billion shillings) which according to the Japanese Ambassador to Uganda, Hidemoto Fakuzawa, is aimed at mitigating the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic to the vulnerable population, including; refugees, host community members among others.
Over the years, Japan has made various contributions to Uganda to address the emerging issues ranging from refugees, infrastructure, health among others.
From 2016 to 2020, Japan contributed approximately 35 million dollars (127 billion shillings) to the Government of Uganda by utilizing the supplementary budget to provide humanitarian support and emergency response.
Speaking to reporters at the Uganda Media Centre on Tuesday, Amb Fukuzawa said, “This year, the Government of Japan decided to make a new contribution of about of approximately 9.8 million dollars (approximately 36 billion shillings) to Uganda.”
The contribution was through 8 agencies, namely; United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), UNFPA, UN Women, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, IOM and IFPRI.
“Japan recognizes that the humanitarian situation in refugee hosting areas is devastating, especially under the spread Of COVID-19,” said Amb Fukuzawa.
The 2021 contribution, Amb Fukuzawa said, has been made with specific focus on mitigating the impacts of the Covid-19 to the vulnerable population, including; refugees, host community members, women and children in Uganda.
Uganda is one of the biggest refugee hosting countries in the world, and has an open door policy for refugees.
Regarding the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, Amb Fukuzawa pledged Japan’s support to Uganda to fight the deadly disease that has claimed millions of lives globally.
“Japan will always be by your side and support the Government of Uganda as a member of the international community,” he said.
In 2020, Japan contributed 1.4 million dollars through UNICEF and 3.8 million dollars through the Ministry of Health to provide emergency assistance for prevention of further spread of the covid-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, Japan has continued to support Uganda in the field of social – economic development especially in northern Uganda.
On February 11, 2021, Amb Fukuzawa signed a bilateral agreement on behalf of Government of Japan in form of exchange of notes with Finance Minister, Matia Kasaija for the project to improve National Roads in refugee hosting areas of West Nile sub region.
By providing a grant of approximately 36.8 million dollars to the Uganda Government, Amb Fukuzawa said that Japan “is hoping to contribute to stabilization of the society and promotion of sustainable economic growth in northern Uganda.
The Minister of Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, Hilary Onek applauded Japanese Government for the “generosity exhibited towards the refugee community.”
“The Government of Uganda commends the Government of Japan for their tireless efforts and support to Uganda, indeed Japan will always remain a true partner to Uganda,” he said.
As of March 2020, Uganda refugee population is at 1,470,858 individuals, and is on the rise.
“Our numbers continue to grow even with the restrictions on registration of new arrivals because of new birth registration and registration of persons who arrived before the lockdown in March 2020, that had since resumed in most settlements especially in West Nile,” said Onek.