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World Bank gives USD150m grant to support host communities, refugees in Uganda

By Our Reporter

The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved today a grant of USD150 million additional financing from the International Development Association (IDA) to boost an ongoing project to improve access to basic social services, expand economic opportunities, and enhance environmental management targeting both refugees and communities that host them. The US$150 million-project is financed through the IDA 18 Refugee Sub Window.

Uganda is currently the largest refugee-hosting country in Africa and the third largest worldwide. Approximately 1.2 million refugees and asylum seekers are living in Uganda due to ongoing conflicts and instability in some parts of the region.

The Additional Financing builds on an initial US$50 million-project approved by the World Bank Board on May 31, 2016 and which became effective on June 29, 2017. The Development Response to Displacement Impacts Project (DRDIP) covers 11 districts that host the largest number of refugees and therefore bearing a disproportionate amount of strain on existing community social services and infrastructure.

The project is implemented by the Office of the Prime Minister. It supports investments in basic social service infrastructure, integrated natural resources management and income generating activities including alternative livelihoods like value-addition to agriculture produce, and fish farming. The project also seeks to strengthen transparency and accountability while addressing social risk management and gender-based violence.

“Government of Uganda welcomes this support from the World Bank to boost our efforts in responding to the needs of refugees and communities hosting them. It is a strong demonstration of solidarity with us, which we appreciate. As we all know, no one chooses to be a refugee, and therefore, responding to the needs of refugees and the generous communities that host them requires our collective support, “said Dr Ruhakana Rugunda, Prime Minister, Republic of Uganda whose office oversees and coordinates the refugee response in the country.

The Development Response to Displacement Impacts Project is part of a regional operation – also being implemented in Ethiopia, Kenya and Djibouti. The World Bank has significantly scaled up support in Uganda through its Forced Displacement Program. In addition to the DRDIP and the Additional Financing operation, two other projects have already been approved by the World Bank’s Board.

“Uganda’s progressive approach to refugees provides some of the best prospects for self-reliance. This Grant shows that the international community – and the World Bank – greatly appreciates Uganda’s generosity towards refugees. We look forward to working very closely with other development and humanitarian partners to support the Government and the people of Uganda in these efforts,” said Tony Thompson, Country Manager, World Bank, Uganda.

Uganda is the largest refugee-hosting country in Africa and third largest worldwide.

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