European Union(EU) and UNHCR Announce 3-Year Programmatic Partnership for Sustainable Refugee Response in Uganda

The European Union (EU) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) have signed a multi-year programmatic partnership which will last from 2023 to 2025.

The EU has allocated EUR 6.5 million (about UGX 26 billion) this year for the programmatic partnership and will explore awarding financial support for two additional years, with an indicative total amount of EUR 19.5 million (about UGX 78.2 billion) until 2025.

This partnership, the first of its kind to be undertaken between the EU and UNHCR, signals a new era of collaborative action between the EU’s humanitarian department ECHO and UNHCR, in support of forcibly displaced people in Uganda.

“In a context characterised by a narrowing space for humanitarian funding, our programmatic partnership with the UNHCR highlights, once again, the importance of the EU as a reliable partner in its response to the various humanitarian crises in the region. We expect that, through this partnership, Uganda’s progressive refugee policy will become more self-reliant and resilient,” said EU Ambassador to Uganda, H.E Jan Sadek.

The primary goals of the multi-year partnership are to provide life-saving assistance to refugees, enhancing their access to basic services and promoting self-reliance and a sustainable refugee response, among other things.

“This type of flexible funding within a longer timeframe will allow our partner to develop innovative policy approaches, more effective service delivery and improved local capacity, ” said Bruno Rotival, who oversees EU humanitarian programmes in Uganda. “Overall, this will strengthen the country’s refugee response considerably.”

The funding is also expected to improve the sustainable management of natural resources and ecosystems in refugee hosting areas, as well as ensuring additional support to the Ugandan government in employing innovative approaches to protect the environment and increase access to sustainable energy sources.

“The programmatic partnership demonstrates the EU and UNHCR’s commitment to ensuring sustainable and impactful solutions for refugees, in line with the Government of Uganda’s pledges at the first Global Refugee Forum in 2019,” said Matthew Crentsil, the UNHCR Country Representative. “Also, this programmatic partnership consolidates the humanitarian development nexus support and aligns well with the government’s priority areas consistent with the Global Compact on Refugees, and its Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework in Uganda. “

Hon. Hillary Onek, the Minister for Disaster, Relief and Refugees said, “The Government of Uganda appreciates the enduring support of the EU and DG ECHO in the Uganda Country Refugee Response. This new partnership will strengthen our commitment to delivering dignified services, offering hope and better prospects to forcibly displaced individuals and their host communities. We call on other donors to give multi-year flexible funding to UNHCR to enable the organization and government help refugees with ease.”