By Abdul Nasur

The Government of Uganda, along with IGAD and East African countries, has convened a high-level ministerial conference on finding lasting solutions for refugees. Stakeholders are considering the integration of policies to address the challenges posed by refugees on a continental scale, rather than relying solely on donor relief. The three-day conference in Kampala will focus on developing response plans for refugees in IGAD countries. IGAD member states are actively exploring durable solutions to tackle the refugee crisis. The conference aims to develop specialized response plans that are not reliant on donor assistance. Uganda, at the forefront of hosting refugees in East Africa, is prioritizing efforts to empower refugees to become self-reliant. This includes providing access to cultivable land, education, and integrating them into socio-economic transformation initiatives Member states are proposing the harmonization of policies regarding refugee response plans, with a focus on the political, social, and economic integration of migrants Political stability is a key concern for IGAD member states, aiming to minimize both regular and irregular movement of people across borders. The objective of this ministerial conference is to design a comprehensive policy framework to address refugee matters and establish a common mechanism for refugee management. This will involve harmonizing national refugee policies, laws, and frameworks.