KAMPALA – Uganda is set to host a four-day regional summit on refugees under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).
The minister of state for relief and disaster preparedness, Musa Ecweru, said the first three days will be used for meetings of experts to pave way for a ministerial level meeting on Thursday.
“The Kampala summit is a regional thematic meeting on livelihoods and self-reliance for refugees, returnees and host communities,” Ecweru said.
Adding that, “Uganda doesn’t harbour people with bad intentions against their home countries. We do background checks and refugee scrutinisation.”
The conference, which will be graced by line ministries, civil society organisations and lead agencies that deal with refugee issues will start Saturday and conclude by Thursday.
According to Ecweru, one of the objectives of the summit, includes galvanizing resource mobilization from IGAD member states as well as other partners to support refugee hosting countries.
Uganda’s open door policy towards refugees has been declared as a model that should be emulated by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).
Under this open door policy, Uganda accepts refugees from different parts of the world as long as they pass its refugee eligibility test.
The United Nations High Commission for Refugees reports that, 6.8 million people around the world are refugees, 3.2 million of whom are being hosted by IGAD countries.
Of the 3.2 million in the IGAD region, more than 1 million of the refugees are being hosted by Uganda. Outside Turkey and Lebanon, no other country is hosting more refugees than Uganda.
– Global Solidarity Summit –
In June 2017, Uganda hosted a global solidarity summit on refugees with the aim of raising resources to help it cater for the growing number of people in its borders seeking refugee from persecution and strife.
The global summit hosted by President Yoweri Museveni and the United Nations Secretary General, Mr. Antonio Guterres raised over USD350m out of the targeted USD2b.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) also led a side event during the solidarity summit whose focus was to showcase the contribution of the private sector to refugees and host communities as well as present successful business models that provided compelling business cases for investing in refugee hosting communities.
Ms. Rosa Malango, the UN Resident Coordinator as well as the UNDP Resident Representative to Uganda described the global summit then, as a milestone event that had put Uganda on the global map for its development oriented initiatives.