Over 15,000 refugees cross into Uganda since January: UN refugee agency-Xinhua

Over 15,000 refugees cross into Uganda since January: UN refugee agency

Source: Xinhua| 2024-02-19 21:59:31|Editor: huaxia

KAMPALA, Feb. 19 (Xinhua) -- More than 15,000 refugees have crossed into Uganda from neighboring countries since January, and the number is expected to increase throughout the year, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Frank Walusimbi, UNHCR Uganda spokesperson, told Xinhua by telephone on Monday that most of the refugees came from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Sudan and South Sudan.

He said the situation remains unpredictable as turmoil continues, particularly in the eastern DRC, where fighting rages between government troops and rebels of the March 23 Movement (M23).

The UN refugee agency said more than 50,000 refugees are expected to cross into Uganda by the end of 2024, which will create a financial need of 30 million U.S. dollars, but relief support from donor countries is dwindling.

Douglas Asiimwe, Uganda's acting commissioner for refugees at the Office of the Prime Minister, told Xinhua on Monday that more refugees are expected in Uganda as long as the conflict in the DRC and Sudan continues.

"If you get 200 refugees arriving every day, the numbers keep growing. We have never had a day when we don't receive refugees," Asiimwe said, adding that the funding situation for refugees has deteriorated over the years.

Uganda is one of the largest refugee-hosting countries in the world, hosting about 1.6 million refugees, mostly from neighboring South Sudan, according to the UNHCR.