The European Union has earmarked an additional €4 million ($4.1 million) to help Uganda cope with the massive influx of new refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the food crisis in Uganda’s Karamoja region on the border with Kenya, the European Commission said on Friday.
“Prevailing insecurity in the eastern DRC has led to an increase in the number of refugee arrivals in neighbouring Uganda, which is already hosting the largest refugee population in Africa. This funding will enable our humanitarian partners address the most urgent emergency needs, including supporting those newly displaced. In addition, funding has been allocated to Uganda to help the country address the rapidly deteriorating food security situation in its Karamoja region, where half a million people are in urgent need of food assistance,” European Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarcic said.
The unstable security situation in the eastern DRC has led to a large number of refugees seeking asylum in neighboring Uganda, with more than 57,000 people arriving since January 2022. Uganda already has the largest number of refugees in Africa (1.5 million) and the third largest in the world, according to the statement.
The worst drought in a century in the northeastern Uganda’s Karamoja region has caused devastating consequences for the local population, the statement said, adding that more than 500,000 people are in dire need of food aid with almost 100,000 children, pregnant and lactating women suffering from acute malnutrition.
According to the commission, the additional funding allocated by the EU will facilitate the provision of food and nutrition aid, including immediate assistance to save lives of the most vulnerable, by Uganda’s humanitarian partners. The new package will bring the total funding for Uganda to €34 million ($35 million) in 2022.