The Japanese government has released 10 million US dollars for South Sudanese refugees and Ugandan host communities in northern Uganda, making good a pledge made by Nobuo Kishi, the State Minister for Foreign Affairs on June 23 this year, when the world gathered here in solidarity with Uganda which is hosting more than a million refugees from that war-stricken country.

Since violence broke out in South Sudan in December 2013, there has been widespread displacement of the South Sudanese population, resulting in a mass influx into Uganda and other neighbouring countries. To-date, Uganda is hosting more than one million refugees from South Sudan, with 82 per cent them being women and children.

According to the Representative of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) to Uganda, Bornwell Kantande, the funding from Japan will help to strengthen the bonds between refugees and Ugandans, who live together side-by-side on land provided by local host communities.

Adding that the contribution would also help to provide newly arrived refugees with core relief items, including blankets, bedding, kitchen utensils and other key items.

A sports stadium and market place in the districts of Adjumani and Moyo respectively, will be upgraded to benefit around 580,000 refugees and people in host communities, allowing them greater economic opportunities and improving shared community infrastructure, Kantande said.

Aida Girma, the Unied nations Children's Fund (Unicef) Representative in Uganda, said the contribution would go a long way towards assisting some of the most vulnerable people in society with a life of dignity, while providing richly-deserved support to host communities in northern Uganda, who continue to generously welcome refugees with open arms.

The funding, which is channeled through Unicef, will provide access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene and immunization services reaching 160,000 people in the districts of Yumbe, Arua and Moyo.

World Food Programme (WFP) Country Director El Khidir Daloum said the contribution, the second received from the government of Japan this year, enables the WFP to purchase nearly 4,600 tonnes of food to reach one million refugees. The WFP relies entirely on the voluntary support of governments and other donors to provide basic food assistance for refugees in Uganda every day.

Source: NAM News Network

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