Museveni decries shortage of funding for refugee activities


KAMPALA/ LIRA. President Museveni has decried the shortage of financial resources his government is grappling with, despite of the willingness to embrace hordes of refugees and asylum seekers escaping political turmoil in neighbouring countries.
The President, according to a statement issued by press secretary, MsLinda Nabusayi, raised the red flag during a meeting with the UK secretary of state for International Development Priti Patel on Tuesday at the sidelines of the just concluded 28th African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
“Resources are a challenge. Otherwise these refugees are our people from Somalia, South Sudan, and Rwanda. I thank the United Nations for supporting the education of refugees in Uganda. Education and skills are very important for refugees in camps,” he was quoted as saying.

Uganda is the third country in the region behind Ethiopia and Kenya to host the largest refugee population, and in the ninth position worldwide. The country hosts close to one million refugees at the various centers spread across the country.
Last year alone, DR Congo accounted for 215,309 refugees, Burundi 238,145, Somalia 38, 176, Burundi 40,874, Rwanda 17,616, Eritrea 11,328, Sudan 3,103, Ethiopia 2,790 and others 1,034, according to the United Nation High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). The wage bill for food is around Shs42b ($12m) per month.

President Museveni, according to the statement, explained that the conflicts in Africa are ideological and are jumpstarted by “incompetent groups only interested in identity of tribe or religion and not the legitimate interests of the people including prosperity, strategic security and development.”
The President and Ms Patel, also discussed the security and transition to peace in Somalia where Ugandan troops under the auspices of the African union mission in Somalia (AMISOM) have helped normalise the situation. She invited Mr Museveni to attend the Somalia Summit to be held in London later this year and also pledged her government’s support to humanitarian assistance.

British Prime Minister Theresa May in her address to UN General Assembly last September reiterated her government’s commitment to international efforts to weed the Islamist militant group Al-Shabaab out of Somalia, including a Shs31b (£7m) funding package for Amisom.
Still in Addis Ababa, President Museveni met with the executive director of the United Nations Programme on HIV/Aids (Unaids) Michel Sidibé, who urged him to “ become a champion in the fight against” the global scourge.
Meanwhile, the President who was launching the Ministry of lands zonal office in Lira on Thursday said, the government will undertake universal survey of land soon so that all the land countrywide is protected. Officials from the ministry of Lands will go to a village and survey all the land there. He promised to help landlords with less than 20 acres to survey their land.

Lands minister, Ms Betty Amongi, told the President that taking the land information system to Lango sub-region will increase on efficiency regarding storage, access, and retrieval of land information for the eight districts: Amolatar, Lira, Apac, Kole, Oyam, Dokolo, Alebtong and Otuke.
The land owners will have an expedited service in an environment of eliminated “back-door” transactions, forgeries and graft. The land service will also be more efficient and speedy without travelling to Kampala and or Entebbe.
With the new office opened in the region, rampant subdivisions, amendments’ and falsification survey information on land titles are no longer possible.

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