Democratic Republic of the Congo
Emergency Assistance for DRC Refugees in Uganda
Japanese

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  • 6 Clean Water and Sanitation
  • 17 Partnerships for the Goals
  • ©PWJ ©PWJ
  • ©PWJ ©PWJ
  • Child protection program for DRC refugees in southwestern Uganda ©SCJ Child protection program for DRC refugees in southwestern Uganda ©SCJ
  • Child protection program for DRC refugees in southwestern Uganda ©SCJ Child protection program for DRC refugees in southwestern Uganda ©SCJ

SCJ’s Assistance for the Children

27th February 2021 6:00

  • Food assistance for foster parents caring for children who have lost parents ©Save the ChildrenFood assistance for foster parents caring for children who have lost parents ©Save the Children

As part of the JPF program, JPF member NGO Save the Children Japan (SCJ) is currently implementing a project in southwestern Uganda in protection of refugee children and youths from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

60% of the DRC refugees in Uganda are children. Many of them have been exposed to various adversities before and after fleeing their country, including psychosocial stress, violence, child labor, and neglect. There are also many children who have been separated from their caregivers in the process.

Through door-to-door visits by caseworkers, SCJ checks on the safety of children in their homes and, if necessary, connects them to appropriate experts based on their individual situations. In addition, SCJ tries to foster an environment where children can grow up safely by hosting parenting sessions on practices that do not rely on corporal punishment.

AAR’s Assistance for a Better Learning Environment for Children

26th January 2021 4:00

As part of the JPF program, JPF member NGO Association for Aid and Relief, Japan (AAR), is currently providing educational assistance in a refugee resettlement area in western Uganda for the people who have fled the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

More than half of the DRC refugee children in Uganda are out of school during their primary school years due to lack of schooling environment. AAR provides support to DRC refugee children as well as children from the host communities. In the Kyangwali Refugee Settlement, where AAR is providing support, there is a shortage of classrooms, which means that children are overcrowded. There is also a lack of teaching materials, with four students sharing one textbook. AAR has been helping in expanding the schoolhouse and distributing educational materials. As of last month, nine new classrooms have been built.

PWJ Improving Sanitation in Western Uganda

24th December 2020 4:00

JPF member NGO Peace Winds Japan (PWJ) is currently supporting the improvement of water supply and sanitation for refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in western Uganda.

Kyaka II Refugee Settlement, where the PWJ project takes place, has seen a rapid influx of DRC refugees since the end of 2017. However, water supply and sanitation remain poor and they are in need of prompt improvements as the primary schools lack toilets and hand washing facilities for both the children and the teachers.

In order to improve water supply and sanitation for the refugees and host community residents, PWJ is working to improve water supply facilities. They are also working to install toilets, hand washing facilities, and incinerators in the primary schools, and support hygiene promotion activities there as well.

SCJ's Child and Youth Protection Project

18th November 2020 4:00

  • Children spending time at a child friendly space ©SCJChildren spending time at a child friendly space ©SCJ

As part of the JPF program, JPF member NGO Save the Children Japan (SCJ) is currently implementing a project in southwestern Uganda in protection of refugee children and youth from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Children who have fled the DRC have witnessed and suffered from violence in the DRC and have now experienced prolonged displacement. They are under a great deal of stress as they have faced changes in their surroundings and daily lives, and are also at risk of abuse, trafficking and neglect.

Through their project, SCJ provides individualized support to particularly vulnerable children who are facing the risk of violence, abuse, exploitation, and neglect. SCJ also promotes child protection by ensuring that children have safe and secure places to stay, such as child friendly spaces (CFS), in their lives as refugees.

SCJ's Assistance in Uganda

28th October 2020 3:04

  • Life skills improvement session ©SCJLife skills improvement session ©SCJ

As part of the JPF program, JPF member NGO Save the Children Japan (SCJ) is currently implementing a project in southwestern Uganda in protection of refugee children and youth from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Many of the displaced youth from DRC have difficulty communicating and interacting properly with others and need to acquire socio-economic skills that are essential to live in Uganda. In addition, opportunities for employment and entrepreneurship are limited while living as refugees. SCJ aims to protect youth who have limited access to school, employment, and social interaction through providing them with support to improve their life skills. As a general rule, SCJ assists youth who do not have access to educational opportunities beyond secondary school so that they can acquire skills such as financial literacy, English language literacy, interpersonal skills, and knowledge of and appropriate responses to sexual violence.

AAR’s Educational Assistance Activity

26th September 2020 14:00

  • Inside the Kyangwali Refugee Settlement ©AARInside the Kyangwali Refugee Settlement ©AAR

As part of the JPF program, JPF member NGO Association for Aid and Relief, Japan (AAR), is currently providing educational assistance to the DRC refugees and children from the host communities in Kyangwali Refugee Settlement in western Uganda.

In April, AAR began providing support to the refugee community in Kyangwali to help improve the learning environment for the children. In the refugee settlement, there is even a school that has more than 700 students attending but has only one classroom. Around the same time as the beginning of their project, COVID-19 also began to spread in Uganda where all schools in the country were closed and expatriates were forced to leave the country for safety reasons. Although schools in the Kyangwali Refugee Settlement remain closed to this day, AAR continues to work closely with the Ugandan staff who remain in the area as they carry on this project.

AAR’s Report: https://bit.ly/3kc8qlk

PWJ Distributing Menstrual Hygiene Management Kits

29th August 2020 10:00

  • Girls with MHM kits given to them ©PWJGirls with MHM kits given to them ©PWJ
  • Girls washing their hands using a simple hand-washing device ©PWJGirls washing their hands using a simple hand-washing device ©PWJ

JPF member NGO Peace Winds Japan (PWJ) is currently working to improve water supply and sanitation for refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) who now live in western Uganda. Although no cases of the new coronavirus have been reported in the Kyaka II Refugee Settlement, which is PWJ's project site, the pandemic has affected the local economy and the activities of aid agencies, making it difficult for refugees and host communities to live in a sanitary manner.

PWJ provided support for the management of menstrual hygiene, which is often neglected in such circumstances. More than 2,000 girls between the ages of 10 and 18 in the refugee settlement received Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) kits. The kits include reusable napkins and panties, as well as soap and bucket for washing. One of the students said, "We hadn't had any sanitary napkins for a while, so it was really helpful (to receive the MHM kit from PWJ),” expressing how happy she was to receive the kit.

Member NGO Continuing Assistance

31st July 2020 15:00

JPF member NGOs Peace Winds Japan (PWJ), Save the Children Japan (SCJ), and the Association for Aid and Relief, Japan (AAR) are providing support for refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in Uganda. These NGOs are supporting the improvement of water and sanitation, protection of refugee children and youths, and education in refugee settlements as many DRC refugee children are missing out on educational opportunities.

Impact of COVID-19 on Assistance Activities

30th June 2020 23:00

As part of our emergency assistance for the refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) who now live in Uganda, JPF has been implementing water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) improvement and educational assistance projects in refugee settlements. In response to the global spread of the new coronavirus (COVID-19), there are now bans on gatherings of a large number of people and restrictions on people’s movement in many regions where JPF is active, adding to the difficulties of implementing our assistance activities. We must get through this phase of the pandemic while being very careful of infection prevention so that we can continue to deliver aid to those in need.

PWJ’s Assistance Activity

29th May 2020 7:00

  • ©PWJ©PWJ
  • ©PWJ©PWJ

As a JPF grant project, JPF member NGO Peace Winds Japan (PWJ) has implemented a hygiene improvement project for refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) who now live in western Uganda. Due to the worsening civil unrest in the DRC, the population of Kyaka II Refugee Settlement in western Uganda has increased rapidly from around 63,000 in June 2018 to around 124,000 in March 2020. This has resulted in a serious shortage of water and hygiene facilities there. Additionally, with the spread of COVID-19, hygiene improvement is an even more urgent issue as the health system was already weak to begin with.

This is why PWJ has constructed a total of 10 student bathroom facilities at three primary schools since late February. Also, to make sure handwashing becomes a good habit for all the students, water tanks were placed right next to the toilets. This will also help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Finally, PWJ provided a training on hygiene knowledge for over 130 primary school students who belong to the hygiene club.

Currently, the schools are closed due to COVID-19, but we feel as if we can almost see the happy faces of children using the clean toilets and handwashing spaces once they return to school!

AAR Beginning Educational Support Provision

3rd April 2020 1:00

  • ©AAR©AAR

Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a country that has been experiencing domestic crisis for a long time now. From April 2020, as a JPF grant project, Association for Aid and Relief, Japan (AAR) has begun providing educational assistance to the DRC refugees and children from the host communities in Kyangwali Refugee Settlement in western Uganda.

In Uganda, more than half of primary school age children are not able to attend school (UNHCR, June 2019). One reason is because the learning environment is not fully established, which includes lack of classrooms and textbooks as well as insufficient systems of school administration.

In the Kyangwali Refugee Settlement where AAR is implementing its project, there is a school that has over 700 children but only one classroom; clearly, it is not an environment where all of the children can focus on learning. This is why AAR has begun its educational support there through improving the school environment: constructing classrooms, building housing for the teachers, and distributing textbooks and educational resources. It is also engaging in maintenance and management of school facilities and offering school administration training. Currently, the school at their activity site has been closed due to the spread of COVID-19, so they cannot provide assistance physically there, but they are preparing to resume their support.

AAR’s post can be read here: https://aarjapan.gr.jp/about/news/2020/0410_2929.html

UNHCR seeking support for refugees

30th March 2020 5:00

Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has had people leaving the country since the beginning of 2017. Neighboring countries have become the major hosts of DRC refugees, including Uganda with 400,000 people, followed by Burundi (over 84,000), Rwanda (over 75,000), and Tanzania (also over 75,000).

The long-standing refugee crisis is exhausting resources on the part of hosting communities, and refugee camps are overflowing with people. UNHCR and its partner organizations are appealing for US$621 to support people who have fled DRC to neighboring countries and for their hosting communities.

For more information, please refer to the UNHCR site here: https://www.unhcr.org/news/briefing/2020/3/5e620fb34/unhcr-partners-seek-us621-million-support-drc-refugees-hosting-communities.html

JPF Implementing “Emergency Assistance for DRC Refugees in Uganda”

29th February 2020 11:00

  • Kyaka II Refugee Settlement ©PWJKyaka II Refugee Settlement ©PWJ

In response to the rapid increase of refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) fleeing into Uganda, JPF decided to launch our assistance program in January 2019 and have been implementing emergency response projects since May of last year. Currently, JPF member NGO Peace Winds Japan (PWJ) is working on a project to improve the hygiene environment for the DRC refugees in Kyaka II Refugee Settlement in western Uganda.

Conditions of DRC Refugees in Uganda

31st January 2020 15:32

Since the end of 2018, many people have fled the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) due to worsened crisis in the country. According to the data released by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) this month, there were 902,816 DRC refugees across Africa as of the end of 2019*1. Of this total, 397,638 people have fled to neighboring Uganda as refugees (as of the end of December 2019)*2. This shows how many people are still in need of assistance. At JPF, we will coordinate with local governments and our member NGOs, assess the conditions and needs, and continue to implement prompt assistance

*1 UNHCR DRC Fact Sheet - January 2020: https://data2.unhcr.org/en/documents/download/73669
*2 UNHCR Operational Data Portal: https://data2.unhcr.org/en/situations/drc

PWJ's Hygiene Improvement Assistance

17th December 2019 22:00

  • ©PWJ©PWJ

JPF is providing emergency assistance in Uganda in response to the rapid increase of refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as a result of the worsening of civil unrest. After JPF member NGOs conducted initial assessments in May 2019, Peace Winds Japan (PWJ) has been implementing a hygiene improvement project for the DRC refugees in western Uganda.

Emergency Assistance for DRC Refugees in Uganda in Action

30th November 2019 19:30

  • ©Kanako Sakae/Save the Children©Kanako Sakae / Save the Children

JPF is providing emergency assistance in Uganda in response to the rapid increase of refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as a result of the worsening of civil unrest. After JPF member NGOs conducted initial assessments in May 2019, Save the Children Japan (SCJ) has been currently implementing child protection and youth capacity building projects.

JPF will continue to work in partnership with local municipal governments and member NGOs to understand and assess the conditions and needs on the ground, and we will provide prompt assistance to those in need.

JPF "Emergency Assistance for DRC Refugees in Uganda" Program is Now Active

5th October 2019 19:30

  • Interviewing refugees in Kyaka II Refugee Settlement, Western Uganda ©PWJInterviewing refugees in Kyaka II Refugee Settlement, Western Uganda ©PWJ

In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a regime change took place for the first time in eighteen years after the 2018 presidential election. After the election, domestic crisis worsened, and inter-ethnic conflicts intensified in the eastern part of the country bordering Uganda. Consequently, the number of people fleeing DRC for Uganda soared. To respond to this rapid increase of refugees, the Ugandan government, in partnership with UN agencies and NGOs, has provided relief in refugee settlements but is facing shortage of funds to adequately do so.

Given this unmet need, JPF decided to mobilize our response program. Since May 2019, JPF member NGOs Association fo Aid and Relief, Japan (AAR), Peace Winds Japan (PWJ), and Save the Children Japan (SCJ) have conducted initial assessments and also implemented child protection, education, WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene), health, and livelihood support programs.

In partnership with local governments and member NGOS, JPF will continue to assess the conditions and needs on the ground and provide prompt assistance for those in need. Updates of our activities can be found on the JPF website and at our Facebook page.

On January 28, 2019, Japan Platform (JPF) decided to launch the assistance program for the refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) who continue to flow into Uganda.

<Overview>

  • After the December 2018 general elections that resulted in a new president and a regime change for the first time in eighteen years in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the crisis worsened in the country. Violent inter-ethnic conflicts in the eastern part of the country bordering Uganda intensified after the elections. While it was estimated that over 310,000 people had fled the DRC to Uganda as of the end of 2018*1, the number is expected to increase to around 390,000 by the end of 2019 if the unrest in eastern DRC continues*2.
  • Of the DRC refugees who have fled to Uganda, 55% are children age 18 or younger who were exposed to high levels of risk during their flight to Uganda and are currently living with severe stress as refugees. Among the DRC refugee children, only 47% of primary- and 8% of secondary-school-age children are in school. Indeed, many are missing out on their education*3.
  • Additionally, with the spread of Ebola Virus Disease in the DRC and Uganda, there is an increased demand in the health care sector to respond to the heightened risk of Ebola infection through prevention and control measures. This would include securing necessary medical supplies and building the capacity of health care providers.
  • Ugandan government has been responding to the surge of DRC refugees in cooperation with UN agencies and NGOs as they provide assistance in the refugee settlements, but there has not been sufficient funding for the effort. JPF decided to launch our response program in January 2019, and starting in May, one of the three NGOs that desired to take part in the response began to implement child protection. Then in August 2019, we decided to extend the response program for another 12 months to better meet the growing needs of DRC refugees.

JPF will work with our member NGOs as we bring prompt emergency relief that meets the needs on the ground. Further updates will be posted on our website and on our Facebook page.

*1 UNHCR, Uganda Operational Update (December 2018)
*2 UNHCR, DRC Influx Dashboard Joint Border Mentoring Uganda Refugee response (June 2019)
*3 UNHCR, The Democratic Republic of Congo Regional Refugee Response Plan January 2019 - December 2020 (June 2019)

Program Overview

Term May 1, 2019 - October 31, 2020 (Emergency Response Period)
Budget 256 million yen (Government Subsidies)
Content Initial assessment, child protection, education, WASH (water, sanitation & hygiene), health, livelihood assistance
Organizations PWJ, SCJ, AAR
Locations Multiple locations within Uganda

*Term and budget subject to change based on future developments.