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UNICEF Rolls Out Cash Assistance to Refugees, Host Communities :: Uganda Radionetwork
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UNICEF Rolls Out Cash Assistance to Refugees, Host Communities

Speaking at the launch, Dr. Munir Safieldin, the UNICEF Representative to Uganda said the project will benefit selected 20,000 children in refugee settlements in four districts in Northern Uganda.
The Minister for Relief, Disaster Preparedness, and Refugees Hillary Onek handing over the first batch of the cash assistance to selected households in Lamwo District on June 20 2023. Photo By Julius Ocungi

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The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in partnership with the government under the Development Response to Displacement Impacts Project (DRDIP) has rolled out a pilot cash assistance project for refugees and host communities in Northern Uganda.

The cash assistance project, ‘Empower U Cash+ was launched on Tuesday during the World Refugee Day celebration in the Palabek Refugee Settlement in Lamwo District.

Speaking at the launch, Dr. Munir Safieldin, the UNICEF Representative to Uganda said the project will benefit selected 20,000 children in refugee settlements in four districts in Northern Uganda.

According to Dr. Munir, each of the four selected children from households in the districts of Lamwo, Adjumani, Yumbe, and Obongi, will receive 45,000 Shillings every month.   

Through the initiative, each household where the four children have been selected will receive 180,000 Shillings monthly for the next six months in addressing malnutrition and food insecurity.

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Dr. Munir says as UNCIFE, they remain committed to offering services related to children in key areas of education, water and sanitation, health, and protection of children.

He however lauded the government for its open-door policy that has enabled the refugees being hosted to have access to land, free movement, health, and education arguing that other neighboring countries should emulate the policy.

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Under the new cash assistance program, beneficiaries will only receive 70 percent of the total cash while 30 percent will be retained by Unicef and paid out at the end of the cash transfer cycle.

The Minister for Relief, Disaster Preparedness, and Refugees Hillary Onek during the launch expressed appreciation to Unicef for the new project which he says will help transform the lives of children in refugee settlements and host communities. 

He cautioned parents especially men against misusing the cash assistance for non-productive ventures for the success of the program.

Onek however says in the wake of limited funds, donor partners should cut down their expenditures on what he describes as luxury vehicles and comfort operations.

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Richard Abonga, a resident of Apyeta Parish, Palabek Ogili Sub-county, and one of the beneficiaries of the cash assistance in the host community says the money will help to improve the livelihood of his family.

Abonga says he will use the money to buy food since he didn’t harvest crops from his garden due to the bad weather and pay school fees for his four children.

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Lamwo District hosts a total of 79,000 refugees the majority of whom are from the neighboring South Sudan.

Refugees in the country continue to face further reductions in both financial and relief assistance from humanitarian aid agencies over limited funding.

Since 2020, for instance, the World Food Programme (WFP) cut down food rations by 40 percent, 60 percent, and 70 percent in various settlements across the country.

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