President Museveni to WFP; Empower refugees with Skills
DAVOS, SWITZERLAND: President Yoweri Museveni has told the World Food Programme to empower refugees with vocational skills than can help them get employment in the urban areas rather than support them to go into production which is a potential area of conflict with host communities.
“Train the refugees in skills. There will be more conflict if they go into production but with skills, they can get employment in urban centers where their acceptance is not based on where they come from but on what skill they have to serve the community. This also helps when its’ time for them to return to their home countries because they have the skills to support themselves,” he said.
The President was yesterday speaking during a meeting he held with the Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP) Mr. David Beasley at Hotel Grischa Monta at the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
President Museveni said the country is operating in a situation of underdevelopment despite the huge development potential.
“The indigenous communities are under-producing either because they are not facilitated or not sensitized. They have means but don’t know how to use it,” he said.
Mr. Beasley said they are willing to support Uganda in all ways possible on what aspects of livelihood the country chooses.
“I want to put WFP out of business by empowering your farmers. Every able bodied person must be able to produce food as opposed to handouts,” he said.
Beasley said the WFP has been supporting Uganda which has over one million refugees with a budget of over US$ 200million. He said the program now needs to focus more on what government priorities are in terms of supporting refugees and their host communities.
Uganda’s refugee hosting model is one of the most progressive in the world. However, Uganda’s generous policy towards refugees is under threat, as thousands of new refugees arrive each day while its refugee appeal is chronically underfunded
WFP maintains an emergency response capacity and supports the government in hosting the growing number of refugees, addressing the causes of food insecurity and malnutrition and improving the social-protection system.