The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Government of the Republic of Korea, through the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) on Tuesday signed a Shs33 billion Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a project aimed at improving the well being of refugees and host communities in Acholi and West Nile Sub-regions.
KOICA contributed Shs25.6 billion whereas UNDP co funded with Shs7.4 billion.
The Uganda Host and Refugee Community Empowerment Project (2019-2022) will improve the economic empowerment of women and youth in refugee-hosting communities in Acholi and West Nile sub-regions with a focus on Adjumani, Lamwo and Moyo districts.
Through UNDP’s gender transformative programming, women’s economic empowerment and prevention of gender-based violence (GBV) will also be emphasised.
The project will implement schemes for emergency employment, vocational training, value chain development and structured community mobilization and messaging to address the root causes of gender inequality and GBV.The project will be implemented as part and/or contributing to the current UNDP Emergency Response and Resilience Strategy for Refugees and Host Communities Project which is based on the UN Refugee and Host Population Empowerment (REHOPE) Framework.
Speaking during the signing ceremony in Kampala, Acting UNDP Resident Representative Ms Almaz Gebru thanked KOICA and the Government of the Republic of Korea for the partnership and commitment to improving the wellbeing of refugees and to the empowerment of women.
Since the outbreak of the conflict in South Sudan, Uganda became the largest refugee-hosting country in Africa with an estimated 1.2 million refugees and asylum seekers by January 2019. The bulk of these – 794,387 – are from South Sudan. Over 80 per cent of new refugees in Uganda are women and children who are exposed to protection risks such as abuse, neglect, violence and GBV.
KOICA Country Director Ms Jun Young Suk said the project is in line with national and global refugee and host communities’ strategic plans and frameworks.
“KOICA expects the project to unlock the economic capacities of women in refugee and host communities through livelihood opportunities and building capacity of relevant stakeholders in gender transformative programming. We are also grateful to UNDP and the Government of Uganda for the continued cooperation and we are hopeful that this will be a sustainable and successful project.”
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