138,000 Refugees from DRC, South Sudan Have Entered Uganda Since 2022-UNHCR

More than 138,000 refugees have entered Uganda since early 2022. This is according to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).

According to Mathew Crentsil, the UNHCR Country Representative, 98,000 were from the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, and the remaining batch was from South Sudan.

Crentsil says that most of the Congolese refugees fled fighting between the March 23 Movement (M23) and Armed Forces of Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) soldiers in North Kivu province which broke out on March 28, 2022. According to Crentsil, the number is beyond their expectation of 56,000.     

Crentsil was briefing European Union Ambassadors on Thursday who are in Kisoro District to assess the impact of fighting between M23 rebels and FARDC soldiers in North Kivu Province on refugees and social services in the district. 

Polyne Abina, the Refugees Desk Head in charge of Western Uganda told the ambassadors that the Office of the Prime Minister struggles to fund the food and accommodation needs of the refugees. He called for more funding to enable the expansion of a holding center at Nyakabande in Kisoro District. 

Jan Sadek, the Head of the European Union Mission in Uganda says that European Union is currently reviewing funding plans for refugees to make sure that the funding crisis is managed in the future.  

Peruth Natumanya, the Deputy Director of Programs at Save the Children says that 1,497 child refugees have fled fighting in North Kivu province since January 2023. She says that the children are forced to escape from the Nyakabande holding center and Nakivale resettlement center in Isingiro district to camp at the Uganda-DRC border of Bunagana due to poor accommodation and lack of food.      

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