Minister Onek Advocates for Economic Empowerment of Refugees

Minister Hillary Onek speaking at the mimisterial conference in Munyonyo on Monday.

Uganda’s Minister of Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, Hillary Onek has highlighted the need for countries hosting refugees to empower them with skills that can improve their economic standards.

He was Monday speaking at the opening of the Ministerial conference on the livelihoods and self-reliance for refugees, returnees and host communities at Speke Resort Munyonyo, in Kampala.

The regional thematic meeting is bringing together IGAD member states, development and humanitarian partners, as well as the private sector and the civil society groups from the humanitarian and development spheres to support these commitments.

According to Onek, the refugee host countries ought to carry on with a deliberate policy to empower refugees with various skills so that they go back to their countries as responsible citizens.

The Minister said the number of refugees in the member countries of IGAD is on a rise saying there is “need for urgent intervention to enhance their social economic protection.”

According to a report by Relief Web, Uganda hosts 1.1 million refugees which makes it the country with the largest number of in Africa and third in the World.

IGAD member states host 3.8 million refugees and in collaboration with the Government of Uganda will be holding a “Regional Thematic Meeting on Livelihoods and Self-reliance for Refugees, Returnees and Host Communities”.

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