AFRICA/UGANDA - The Comboni Missionaries "Facing the refugee crisis"

Saturday, 2 March 2019 refugees   poverty   development   human rights  


Kampala (Agenzia Fides) - The evangelical commitment of the Comboni missionaries in Uganda touches one of the most serious crises related to the presence of refugees on the whole continent, while poverty and social inequality are growing. Although in Uganda there has been a slight improvement regarding the economic indicators in recent years, the problem of poverty remains unresolved: "The government does not think about the good of those who are important to us", says to Agenzia Fides Father Sebhatleab Ayele Tesemma, Comboni missionary in the Archdiocese of Gulu. "The poor people, women and young people are completely forgotten", he adds.
About 65% of Ugandans live on less than $ 2 a day. Only 14% have access to electricity. Drought, the crisis in South Sudan (among the major importers of Ugandan products), the high prices of raw materials, have negatively affected the economy. Most of the population lives on agriculture, but only 8% have regular employment. "The very few rich are getting richer and the poor majority remains poorer. This is the challenge we have", points out the Comboni missionary.
According to recent data from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, in Uganda there are about 1,600 million people fleeing from South Sudan, Congo, Burundi, Somalia and Eritrea. Despite the country's commendable efforts, today food rations have been drastically reduced and health facilities are collapsing. "The people - continued Father Tesemma - are homeless and with have nothing to eat". The lack of contributions in recent months is putting the provision of essential services at risk: "Only 15% of the resources allocated to them - the missionary concludes - is destined for refugees", above all because of the phenomenon of corruption. (ES) (Agenzia Fides, 2/3/2019)