Head of the World Food Programme (WFP), David Beasley, said during Thursday’s visit to the Imvepi refugee settlement that his agency needs $100 million to feed the people for the remaining part of the year.
“We need the money and we need it now,” he said.
Mr. Beasley accompanied the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, and UN Secretary-General António Guterres, to the settlement to hear about the challenges facing the refugees from South Sudan, as well as the host communities.
On Friday, June 23, 2017, the United Nations announced that the ‘Solidarity Summit’ for refugees hosted by Uganda raised some $358 million in pledges.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres told reporters in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, that it was a “good starting point” although the international conference was looking to raise $2 billion.
Hosted by President Yoweri Museveni and the UN Secretary-General, the Summit sought to rally international support for refugees and host communities in the form of donations, investments and relevant programmes, over the next four years.
Mr. Guterres noted that the World Bank and the African Development Bank had promised “innovative funding” for projects involving both refugees and the local communities.
“We cannot stop,” he underscored, recalling that several of the participating countries
Uganda, through its Refugee Act of 2006, has a generous and progressive refugee policy which does not confine refugees and asylum seekers to camps and allows them to travel freely, own land, open businesses and go to school.
Earlier in the day, the UN chief said it was necessary to recognize that Uganda remained “a symbol of the integrity of the refugee protection regime” that unfortunately is not respected everywhere in the world, he stressed.
“Not all doors are open and not all refugees are accepted, and sometimes in countries richer than Uganda,” he said.
Twelve years ago, Mr. Guterres reminisced, he was celebrating with the South Sudanese who were about to return home full of hope. Now they were back in exile and for him, the conclusion was obvious: everything must be done to end the war in South Sudan.