By:  Pascal Kwesiga

The Office of the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Local Government convened the 20th Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) Steering Group meeting on Thursday 30th November 2023 to consider refugee matters in Uganda.

The multi-stakeholder Steering Group, which comprises various Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies and Development Partners and Donors, is the CRRF’s highest decision-making body on refugee matters in Uganda.

Hon. Eng. Hilary Onek (left), the Minister for Relied Disaster Preparedness and Refugees flanked by  Hon. Victoria Businge Rusoke, Minister of State for Local Government during the meeting

The Office of the Prime Minister chairs this Steering Group, with the Ministry of Local Governing serving as its co-chair. The meeting, which took place at Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala, considered several issues relating to Uganda’s refugee response and the upcoming Global Refugee Forum (GRF) 2023.

Uganda will convene the GRF 2023 together with Japan, France, Colombia, Niger, and Jordan. The GRF, which is the largest global gathering on refugees, is scheduled to take place from 13-15 December in Geneva.

The Minister for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, Hilary Onek, who chaired the meeting, said the gathering was the last in a series of many engagements the CRRF Secretariat has coordinated this year with the different stakeholders mostly in preparation for the GRF.

“In our steadfast preparation for the Global Refugee Forum, we recently conducted successful roundtable discussions on five pivotal thematic areas: Localisation, Transition, Durable Solutions, Self-reliance and Resilience, and Environment and Energy,” he added.

The Minister explained that the insights gained during these roundtable discussions will enrich Uganda’s approach and contributions to the GRF – reinforcing the country’s commitment to impactful and sustainable solutions for refugees and their host communities.

“These priorities are not for the GRF alone – they are and will remain the most pressing issues for the refugee response in Uganda for the coming years,” Onek said. “My biggest call to you, the donors, and partners is to, therefore, step up support to Uganda’s pledges by calling upon your capitals to increase support for Uganda’s Refugee Response,”

The Minister of State for Local Government, Victoria Businge Rusoke, thanked the Donors and Partners for supporting the local governments to deliver on their mandate regarding the refugee response.

“Thanks for the meaningful involvement of District Local Governments in the Global Refugee Forum consultation processes, more so on the thematic area for Localisation,” she added. “Please support the pledges and the localisation events as we prepare to put our case right in Geneva,”

The Donors and Partners pledged to continue to support Uganda’s refugee response. END