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Belgium’s Ambassador Hails Uganda’s “Unique” Refugee Policy

Belgium’s ambassador to Uganda, H.E Hugo Verbist, has lauded Uganda’s policy on refugees describing it as unique.

The ambassador made the remarks last week during the EU Heads of Mission retreat to Hoima and the Kyangwali refugee settlement.

“It’s probably the most welcoming country in the world, as far as welcoming refugees is concerned,” the ambassador said.

He added, “But it is important that the refugees become part of the economic fibre of Uganda, by doing business and acquiring new skills.”

During last week’s visit, ambassadors assessed needs of the facility that serves a catchment population of 57,700 people, of whom 30% are refugees and the rest from host communities. They also interacted with refugees.

New EU humanitarian aid for 2018 prioritises the provision of rapid and good quality emergency assistance to newly arrived refugees, especially those from South Sudan and DRC. In 2017, the EU allocated €65 million in humanitarian assistance and €20 million to build the self-reliance of refugees.

EU ambassadors during the tour of the Nkenda-Hoima transmission line and substation, put together with financing from Norway, France and the Government of Uganda.

The Ambassadors then proceeded to check out on-going construction works on Uganda’s 2nd international airport at Kabaale in Hoima.

The new airport project is expected to facilitate mobilisation of cargo to build Uganda’s oil refinery and support tourism. At the end of the visit today, the Ambassadors addressed the media to share observations on oil developments, the environment and sustainability.

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