A relatively small country compared to its African neighbours, Uganda hosts the most refugees in the region after Ethiopia. It is the only country that boasts a self-reliance policy for refugees as opposed to an ‘encampment’ policy that restricts refugees to living in camps, often entirely dependent on aid.
In Uganda, refugees can move freely and are given a small plot of land to grow food. They are encouraged to engage with the local communities and find employment opportunities. Since renewed fighting in South Sudan in July, Uganda has seen a mass influx of refugees, now totaling more than 665 000. Its progressive policy is coming under pressure. The European Commission funds emergency relief, but is also supporting partners such as the Norwegian Refugee Council who have started vocational training centres where young refugees can learn a profession. This is helping them to earn an income and live in dignity.