Uganda's contribution to Refugee Protection and Management
UNDP Uganda commissioned a study on ‘Uganda’s Contribution to Refugee Protection and Management’ that for the first-time quantified the country's direct and indirect costs. The Government of Uganda now has a baseline of its expenditure in districts hosting refugees for the first time in history. Using a static accounting approach, the analysis of data shows that the Government of Uganda and local communities are spending over US$ 323 million in 2016/17 on the protection and management of refugees, and the provision of essential services, which is equivalent to 46 percent of the education budget for the year or 62 percent of the health budget. This is significant for a low-income country like Uganda with a per capita income of over US$ 764. Over 83 percent of the cost being incurred at the integration phase implying the need to gear future assistance to this phase to lessen the burden on public expenditure and long term development of the country.
The approach adopted could be used by the Government to update the refugee public costs on a yearly basis, and keep track of any increase that is likely to occur if the current refugee trend continues. Uganda has allocated land to the refugees for settlement and agriculture production which is valued around US$ 30 million accounting around 10 percent of the total cost for refugee settlement and protection. While other services such as energy and water account over 146 million (28 percent of the cost). Ecosystem loss is the largest cost that Uganda and local communities are bearing because of refugee hosting which is estimated around US$ 90 million per year which accounts over 45 percent of the total cost, other services including education, health, security and tax exemptions account for the rest of the cost.