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

  • ©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

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.