The Independent has today carried a critical opinion piece by the Deputy Head of Mission at the Ugandan Embassy in Rome – Ambassador Dr Mumtaz Kassam – on international aid funding for refugees in Uganda.
The original headline of the article implied the UK is not supporting refugees in Uganda. This is simply not true and the Independent has since updated its headline to correct this.
The UK is deeply committed to supporting refugees and in the last financial year (2018/19) we provided almost £35 million of UK aid to help refugees in Uganda, giving food, water and healthcare to those in desperate need.
Our support also included support for unaccompanied and separated children, among others.
Uganda hosts the largest number of refugees in Africa - totalling over 1.3 million people - who have fled violence and conflict in South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi.
It is also misleading to suggest that we have suspended refugee funding to Uganda, which is a comment made in the article. We want to ensure value for money for British taxpayers. Therefore, following an audit report in late 2018 on the UN refugee agency UNHCR which included allegations of corruption, we have not released any further funds to them for the work they do in Uganda.
This does not mean that we no longer support refugees in Uganda and this has not affected our overall level of funding. We work with a number of charities and international partners to help vulnerable families to survive.
For example, in June this year, we provided £15 million of UK aid to the World Food Programme for food for refugees in Uganda, supporting an average of 1.1 million refugees per month.
UK support to Uganda is helping to make the world – and ultimately the UK – a safer, healthier and more prosperous place.