U.S. Government Helps Refugees Counter Gender-Based Violence
Uganda generously hosts over half a million refugees and asylum seekers from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, Somalia, and other countries. The U.S. Mission is working with the Government of Uganda, international organizations, and non-governmental organizations to provide humanitarian assistance to refugees as part of its goal to strengthen Uganda’s role in promoting regional stability, security, and prosperity. Much of this assistance is for programs that counter sexual and gender-based violence, or SGBV, in communities where refugees live.
In 2015, the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration provided $4.2 million to five non-governmental organizations in Uganda for programs that prevent and respond to sexual and gender-based violence. In addition, the Bureau provided over $40 million to the UN Refugee Agency operation in Uganda, which also funds activities in support of SGBV prevention and response. For example, the joint U.S. – UN programSafe from the Start ensured that SGBV prevention and response was integrated into the protection activities for the recent influx of refugees from South Sudan.
These programs seek to raise awareness of sexual and gender-based violence and to mitigate cultural, social, and economic conditions that can lead to SGBV. Furthermore, they assist SGBV survivors by providing psychosocial support, medical care, and access to justice. Those who benefit from these programs are refugees as well as Ugandans living in communities that host refugees. All of these activities are coordinated with the government of Uganda, including the Office of the Prime Minister and the Uganda Police Force.