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Uganda and Kenya will receive aid package of €34 million to help refugees and new arrivals

South Sudanese children play in a refugee settlement in Uganda. Today's announcement of aid will help both those already displaced and new arrivals in Kenya and Uganda. © EU/ECHO/Edward Echwalu

Today the Commission announced an aid package of €34 million for displaced people in Uganda and Kenya.

"Kenya and Uganda are among Africa's major hosts of refugees, with millions urgently needing assistance. The EU stands in solidarity and is committed to support the most vulnerable refugees. Our new funding will help both those already displaced and the new arrivals into Kenya and Uganda," said Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides.

With nearly 1.5 million refugees - mostly from South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo - Uganda is the largest refugee host country in Africa. Out of the aid package announced today, €24 million will go to Uganda, prioritising emergency situations and new arrivals among displaced populations with a special focus on refugees from South Sudan and the increasing influx of Congolese refugees. EU aid will provide emergency healthcare, food assistance, water and sanitation, protection, and education in emergencies through accelerated learning programmes for children whose education has been disrupted by conflict and displacement. 

Refugees in Uganda are free to move and work and are entitled to land to build a home on and grow food. However, Uganda’s progressive refugee policy is under increasing pressure due to the scale of the crisis, and services are overstretched while available land is dwindling. In 2017 alone, the European Commission provided €65 million in humanitarian aid to meet the basic needs of refugees, in addition to €20 million from the EU Emergency Trust Fund to increase the self-reliance of refugees.

The remaining €10 million in assistance will go to Kenya to support refugees living in Dadaab and Kakuma camps, providing protection to the most vulnerable groups, as well as granting access to quality primary education. EU assistance will also support programmes to tackle the consequences of the prolonged drought in parts of the country. The assistance in Kenya comes on top of the €1.5 million announced in May to assist the victims of the flooding that wreaked havoc in the country.

Kenya continues to host more than 450 000 refugees, mostly from Somalia and South Sudan. Additionally, recurrent and prolonged climate shocks cause food and nutrition crises. Even though the number of food insecure people has dropped from 3.4 million in 2017 to 2.5 million in 2018, the situation remains dire in counties with arid and semi-arid lands. Since 2012, the EU has provided over €130 million in humanitarian assistance to Kenya.

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