United States Contributes $13.3 million to Support Refugees and Host Communities During COVID-19 Pandemic in Uganda

Press Release Shim

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USG-donated food assistance
USG-donated food assistance

For Immediate Release

Thursday, September 17, 2020
Nanyonga Dorothy
+256 414 306 410

The U.S. Mission to Uganda announces the continuing support of the U.S. Government and the American people to respond to COVID-19 in Uganda with a $4 million contribution to the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) and nearly $9.3 million to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), UNICEF, and non-governmental organizations to address the impact of the pandemic on refugees and host communities. This is part of the $46 million total U.S. government assistance in support of Uganda’s COVID-19 response. With these latest contributions, the U.S. government in 2020 has provided nearly $162 million in refugee humanitarian assistance in Uganda.

“The United States is a longstanding donor assisting refugees and refugee hosting communities in Uganda.  We have boosted our assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic to address the additional needs of vulnerable refugees and the Ugandan communities that so generously host them,” U.S. Embassy Kampala’s Chargé d’Affaires Christopher Krafft said.  “We appreciate the Government of Uganda providing safe haven to those fleeing fighting and persecution in the region, even during these difficult times of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

This emergency humanitarian assistance responds to the joint United Nations appeal to address COVID-19 needs in Uganda. It includes nearly $6.6 million in funding from the U.S. Department of State to UNHCR’s overall multi-sectoral support for refugees and refugee hosting communities during the pandemic; $590,000 to UNICEF for youth and their care providers; $1 million to the International Refugee Committee to assist urban refugees in Kampala whose ability to support themselves has been undermined by necessary pandemic-related lock-down measures; and nearly $700,000 to Alight for protection and Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) assistance related to COVID-19 in seven refugee settlements in Uganda. In addition, $500,000 supports ICRC’s global COVID-19 response. ICRC’s efforts in Uganda help to restore family links, prevent the spread of disease in places of detention, and facilitate collaboration with International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement partners to contribute to the global and local COVID-19 response.

USAID funds will address urgent food and nutrition needs countrywide as a result of COVID-19. Specifically, the contribution will cover additional costs during COVID-19 related to delivering food assistance to the 1.3 million refugees living in settlements, including increased commodity costs; contribute towards increased logistical costs associated with the COVID-19 response in providing food; and provide food assistance for COVID-19 patients in quarantine centers.

Refugees have been among the worst affected by the global COVID pandemic due to limited access to livelihood activities and high dependence on humanitarian assistance. Addressing their needs will ensure that vulnerable refugee households are less susceptible to being vectors of COVID-19 transmission.