Last week, Preet Kaur Gill MP in her role as Shadow Minister for International Development, visited Uganda with the World Vision team to see the work they are carrying out with child refugees.
Conflict and violence in two of Uganda’s neighbouring countries (the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan) has resulted in more than 1 million refugees crossing the border since 2013. 61% of refugees in these settlements are children. Stripped of the normal protection of family, schools and communities these children are vulnerable to violence, exploitation and abuse.
Uganda has not only commendably kept its doors open to the new arrivals of refugees from South Sudan, it has also developed and implemented some of the most progressive and welcoming policies for refugees seeking safety in Uganda. However, as the number of refugees continues to grow more support is needed to ensure the needs of the new arrivals are adequately met. In 2017 the UN only received just over 28% of the funding it appealed for, leaving a shortfall of over 70%.
Speaking at a child friendly space which provides 1,600 children with psychosocial, emotional, welfare, and wellbeing support, Preet said, "It's been absolutely awe-inspiring to see World Vision staff on the groud doing some fundamentally very important work supporting refugees who are settled here."
You can find out more about the work of World Vision here: www.worldvision.org.uk