With 512,968 refugees and asylum-seekers, Uganda has now become the 8th-largest refugee hosting country in the world and the third largest refugee-hosting country in Africa, according to UNHCRs annual Global Trends report that tracks forced displacement worldwide.
Conflict and persecution caused global forced displacement to escalate sharply in 2015 reaching the highest level ever recorded worldwide, according to a report released today by, the UN Refugee Agency-UNHCR.
In Uganda, the number of refugees and asylum-seekers reached more than half a million for the first time in history. Three parallel emergency influxes from South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi led to more than 100,000 people seeking safety in Uganda in 2015.
With 512,968 refugees and asylum-seekers, Uganda has now become the 8th-largest refugee hosting country in the world and the third largest refugee-hosting country in Africa, according to UNHCR's annual Global Trends report that tracks forced displacement worldwide.
South Sudan continued to be the main driver of fresh displacement into Uganda, with on average 4,000 South Sudanese refugees fleeing to Uganda every month. Almost two-thirds of the new arrivals were children under the age of eighteen, presenting specific challenges in education and child protection, the report states.
Roughly 3,000 people per month fled to Uganda from the Democratic Republic of Congo as violence amongst militia groups continued to terrorize communities in the Kivu provinces while nearly 20,000 Burundians sought safety in Uganda during the course of the year.
Refugees in Uganda have access to the same services as nationals, have the right to work and to establish their own businesses. They enjoy freedom of movement and are provided with land integrated within the community; a pioneering approach that enhances social cohesion and allows both refugees and host communities to live together peacefully.
“Uganda's approach to refugee management and protection is an inspirational model, and an example to other countries not only in the region but across the world,” UNHCR Representative to Uganda Neimah Warsame says.
“Ugandans understand that refugees are not beggars, competitors for jobs or terrorists. Refugees are people like you and me, who through no fault of their own have had their lives turned upside down and destroyed by violence,” Warsame adds.
The report further shows that up to 65.3 million people were displaced as of the end of 2015, compared to 59.5 million just twelve months earlier. This is the first time that the threshold of 60 million has been crossed.
Measured against Earth's 7.349 billion population; these numbers mean that 1 in every 113 people globally is now either an asylum-seeker, internally displaced or a refugee. In all, there are more forcibly displaced people today than the populations of the United Kingdom, France or Italy.
As recent as 10 years ago, at the end of 2005, UNHCR recorded an average of 6 people displaced every minute. Today that number is 24 a minute – almost double the typical frequency at which adults breathe.
“More people are being displaced by war and persecution and that's worrying in itself, but the factors that endanger refugees are multiplying too,” UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said.