The government of Uganda and UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi have made a joint appeal to the international community for urgent and massive support for thousands of South Sudan refugees who continue to arrive in the country daily, fleeing conflict.In a joint statement released on Friday Prime Minster Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda said Uganda has continued to maintain open borders but this unprecedented mass influx is placing enormous strain on the public services and local infrastructure.
“We continue to welcome our neighbours in their time of need but we urgently need the international community to assist as the situation is becoming increasingly critical” the Ugandan premier said.
“We are at breaking point. Uganda cannot handle Africa’s largest refugee crisis alone,” warned UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi.
“The lack of international attention to the suffering of the South Sudanese people is failing some of the most vulnerable people in the world when they most desperately need our help” he said.
Uganda currently hosts more than 800,000 South Sudanese refugees.
Among them are some 572,000 new arrivals who have poured into Uganda in desperate need of safety and help since 8 July 2016.
With the current rates of arrival, that figure will surpass a million before mid- 2017, it is feared.
This year alone, more than 172,000 South Sudanese refugees have fled to Uganda, with new arrivals in March averaging more than 2,800 daily.
Currently, UNHCR urgently needs more than a quarter of a billion dollars to support these refugees in Uganda.