Resource Mobilization

FAO reaffirms support to the Government of Uganda at the Solidarity Summit on Refugees

23/06/2017 - 

On the occasion of the Solidarity Summit on Refugees (Kampala, 22-23 June, 2017), Uganda, with the support of the United Nations, brought together Heads of State and representatives from national, regional and international organizations, to pledge support and show solidarity to the Government and its people, in their efforts to provide protection and assistance to refugees. 

Hosted by His Excellency Yoweri Museveni, President of Uganda, and the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, the main objective of the event was to rally international support for refugees, and host communities in the form of donations, investments and innovative programmes. $2 billion are required to meet the humanitarian needs of refugees, and to support the hosting communities over the next four years. 

With a refugee population of 1.25 million, and more than 2,000 new arrivals daily, Uganda is the East African country that faces the world’s fastest-growing refugee emergency. Fifty eight percent of refugees are children under the age of 18, while 59 per cent are female, mostly from South Sudan.

On behalf of FAO, Mr. Gustavo Gonzalez, Director of the South-South Cooperation and Resource Mobilization Division, and Mr. Alhaji Jallow, FAO Representative in Uganda, participated in this meeting. “With timely support and resilience-based interventions, Uganda can turn this demographic shock into a development opportunity” said Mr. Gonzalez. “FAO will do its utmost to contribute to the collective support to Uganda’s Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework”, he added.

FAO has committed to effectively support the Government of Uganda and its people in their efforts to boost development and resilience among refugees and host communities, reinforce national capacities, increase rural job creation in sustainable food production, help local communities to deal with water and soil conservation, and support the production of drought-tolerant crops. To accomplish this goal, FAO invites partners to coordinate efforts and make of Uganda a success story of unprecedented resilience-based investment.

The Summit concluded with the Kampala Declaration, which seeks to translate into action the commitments of the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants issued in 2016.

Building more resilient livelihoods in Uganda

Refugees’ food security challenge is added to other longstanding challenges such as: water scarcity, soil degradation, climate change, rural backwardness, and higher unemployment – especially among women and young people. Through the creation of long-term livelihoods and sustainable economic opportunities, particularly in rural areas, as well as better access to input and output markets and technological interventions, refugees may have a real opportunity to overcome hunger and poverty. 

This year, FAO has targeted 4,000 refugee families and 1,000 families from the host communities in northern and mid-western Uganda to increase their productivity and income through crop diversification, expansion of irrigation systems and capacity building on good agricultural practices and post-harvest handling. “These type of resilience-based interventions should be scaled up to bring durable solutions” stated Mr. Gonzalez.