Uganda is known to have been hosting refugees since 1942, notably the 8,000 polish refugees that fled to Uganda during the second world war. In 1950s and 60s, Uganda again hosted approximately 78,000 Southern Sudanese and Rwandese refugees. As of June 2019, Uganda is a host to 1,267,043 multi-national refugees coming from over 38 countries, however, 99% of the refugees come from 8 countries: South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Somalia, Rwanda, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Sudan. Download document!
Uganda’s refugee policies have been widely recognised as among the most progressive in the world. Through its self-reliance model, it allows refugees the right to work and freedom of movement. It has sustained this approach virtually since independence despite currently hosting more refugees than any other African country.
Uganda’s model has three core elements that distinguish it from most other refugee-hosting countries. First, its regulatory framework: it lets refugees work and choose their place of residence. Second, its assistance model: it allocates plots of land for refugees to cultivate within its rural settlements. Third, its model of refugee–host interaction: it encourages integrated social service provision and market access.
This publication explores the question: what difference does Uganda’s self-reliance model make? How do its different elements influence welfare outcomes for refugees and for host communities? Download document!