The Government of Uganda in partnership with the Federal Republic of Germany has launched a Refugee Response Fund (RRF) with an initial 10 million Euro. The German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) through KfW Development Bank is the founding development partner of the RRF, which aims at improving basic social services in refugee-hosting areas. The fund contributes to securing basic needs and to social and economic development of refugees and people in host communities.  

The launch, which took place at the Office of the Prime Minister in Kampala, was attended by State Minister for Relief and Disaster Preparedness Musa Ecweru, Commissioner for Refugees Apollo Kazungu, German Ambassador Dr. Albrecht Conze and representatives from KfW, UNDP, Save the Children and OXFAM - the implementing partners.

“We are grateful to the German Government for fulfilling its pledge, which will go a long way in providing refugees with the requisite services,” State Minister for Relief and Disaster Preparedness Musa Ecweru said.

The fund is a spin-off of the Solidarity Summit for Refugees that was held in Kampala in June to raise funding for the growing number of refugees in the country. Uganda has experienced the fastest growing refugee crisis in the world, with over 1.4 million refugees and far-reaching economic and social impact. The high number of refugees has placed excessive pressure on overstretched state and host community resources.  Education is one of the sectors most at risk, with more than half of the refugee children out of school.

As a recipient to this fund, Save the Children will implement an education programme in Bidibidi refugee settlement in Yumbe district. Bidibidi is host to more than 270,000 refugees, with two thirds of the children not enrolled in school. The refugee and host community children who are attending school are affected by overcrowded facilities, inadequate sanitation and hygiene infrastructure and learning materials.  The project will provide access to quality learning opportunities for over 25,000 girls and boys, providing schools with additional classrooms and an accelerated learning programme, while local communities’ commitment and capacity to maintain school structures are strengthened.