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refugees in Uganda have a habit of selling off relief items provided to them by several humanitarian agencies. A recent mini-survey by Agroking Uganda limited revealed that items provided by different humanitarian agencies are cheaply sold to the neighboring communities. Some of the items include food and non-food commodities such as tarpaulins, blankets, jerricans and iron sheets, mats, delivery kits and detergents among others thus solution to this problem should be addressed immediately.

Some of the refugees whom we managed to talk to about the issue of selling off relief items provided to them and she answered that they decide to sell off part of the food items given to their family to enable them buy clothes for her children. “It is not ever their wish to sell part of the relief aid but because they escape without anything, some have decided to sell part of the food ration for buying clothes for their children.” Another woman said: “It’s the only way for us to get some money to buy some personal items which UN does not provide. We are not given money here so we have to improvise.”

When contacted, a refugee desk officer, said he is not aware that some of the relief aid given to the refugees ends up in the hands of the host communities. He said he had not received any complaint from the humanitarian agencies about refugees selling off the items, adding that it is difficult to eliminate such dealings between the asylum seekers and the host community.

The World Food Programme and other humanitarian agencies provide the food and other nonfood items to every refugee family head, depending on the number of dependents he or she has.

THE STATUS

Camps: There are two major refugee centres in northern Uganda; Elegu camp in Amuru District and Nzaipi Reception Centre in Adjumani District. The camps are overwhelmed with numbers, leaving social services overwhelmed Numbers. Uganda is the most popular destination for the refugees, with almost 25,000 arrivals since the crisis in South Sudan began.
Impact of conflict: According to UNHCR, more than 100,000 South Sudanese have fled to neighboring Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya and Sudan since mid-December.

Inside South Sudan: some 490,000 people are at present internally displaced, including 75,000 civilians seeking protection on UN bases.
Relief agencies: Doctors Without Borders, Oxfam, Red Cross, World Health Organization, UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, among others.

 

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