Government and Development Partners agrees on actions to ensure accountability and transparency in the refugee response   

Kampala, February 8, 2018: The Government of Uganda and its development partners today agreed on a set of comprehensive and time bound actions and methodology for delivery to address financial and protection-related risks in the refugee response. The Rt. Hon. Prime Minister, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, reiterated the Government’s commitment to its open-door policy, while emphasizing zero-tolerance to corruption and fraud:

“The Government remains committed to fulfilling its international commitments and provide asylum space for our brothers and sisters fleeing conflict in neighboring countries. As we do so, we will continue to promote investments and socio-economic development in the districts hosting refugees. And let me be absolutely clear: We will not tolerate any form of misappropriation of funds or wrong-doings in the response. The investigations into the recent allegations will be swift, there will be legal consequences for those found guilty, and tight checks and balances will be put in place to ensure full accountability and transparency going forward.”, said the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister.

The meeting also discussed overall implementation performance across government and strategies for enhancing effective delivery of services to Ugandans. Whereas there has been some improvement in the delivery of public projects and programs, more needs to be done to deliver on the Government’s ambitious development agenda. Speaking on behalf of the Local Development Partners’ Group, the Head of DFID Uganda, Ms. Jennie Barugh, highlighted the importance of accountability:

“The Government has come a long way in putting in place good policies and ambitious legislation. It will require strong sustained commitment and clear accountability for delivery to translate this into improved public sector performance that delivers results. As development partners, we welcome the Government’s commitment to increase returns from public investments, and we remain committed to support the Government where we can. As development partners, we also welcome the Prime Minister’s statement promising swift investigations and legal consequences for those found guilty of wrong-doing in the refugee response.  We are committed to working together to ensure our support benefits the vulnerable refugees and host communities it is intended to reach”, Ms. Barugh said.

The meeting reaffirmed the joint commitment to a set of concrete actions aimed at accelerating implementation of national projects and programs and improving delivery of social services to Ugandans. In particular, the forthcoming mid-term review of the second National Development Plan was highlighted as an opportunity to review priorities and strategies for accelerating inclusive growth and poverty reduction.

The National Partnership Forum was attended by Cabinet Ministers and Ministers of State, Ambassadors and Heads of Mission representing bilateral and multilateral development partners as well as representatives from refugee hosting districts and civil society.