Germany’s Foreign Minister visits South Sudan refugees in Uganda, realizes the need for more support
Germany has so far donated 60 million Euros as humanitarian aid for South Sudan crisis. However having visited one of the refugee camps in Uganda, The German Foreign Minister noticed that the donation is not enough, and that Uganda still needs more support.
“We are trying to help. We have significantly expanded our humanitarian support, but at this time, we see here that it is not enough,” the German Foreign Minister told the journalists that accompanied him.
Sigmar Gabriel, the German Foreign Minister visited Uganda early this week and following his schedule, the minister visited the Rhino refugee camp, one of the refugee camps in Uganda located in the northern parts of the country, on Wednesday 9 August.
During his visit to the camp, Gabriel got first hand information and experience of how Uganda is reaching its limits. He visited a school of around 200 children crowded on shaky wooden benches in a classroom.
At the school, the minister gave out footballs to some of the children.
The German minister was accompanied by Uganda’s Minister for Relief and Disaster Preparedness, Musa Ecweru, who walked with him around the camp, giving necessary explanations.
“These people need to be fed, they need medical help and protection,” said Uganda’s Minister.
“Uganda will continue to receive refugees, but if it does not get the necessary aid, then that would be a disaster. The international community has a responsibility to support Uganda,” clarified Mr. Ecweru.
Kemlin Furley, the UNHCR Deputy Representative to Uganda has also expressed his worry of what will happen to the refugees after September, since according to him, the food aid for the refugees will be available until then.
“The tension is there already. It’s a very generous government policy towards refugees, and the population is very hospitable,” Furley said.
“However, we cannot push it so far. If the pressure on the schools, clinics and so on continues, that’s not a good recipe for the future,” he added.
Gabriel, the German minister, has promised Germany will do more in the coming years. Therefore, Uganda’s government, the UN and the refugees will have to wait for whatever German will have to offer.
On Thursday 10 August, the minister met with the President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni, and commended him and Uganda at large for their refugee policy which stands out as an exemplary unique practice and deserves Germany’s support and recognition.
“Germany has many refugees but that is different from what a poor country like Uganda is doing. The international community should support Uganda because it stands out as an example and deserves support and recognition,” said Gabriel Sigmar.
After the visit on Thursday, Gabriel and his delegation travelled on to South Sudan, the origin of the conflict and displacement.
Reporter: Shamilah Namuddu