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Italy’s participation in the Uganda Solidarity Summit on Refugees (22-23 June 2017)

Italy commends Uganda for its generosity and its exemplary model in receiving and protecting refugees. Italian people have always been close to Ugandans, especially in difficult moments. Therefore Italy spares no effort to work side by side with Uganda in its extraordinary endeavor in responding to the South Sudanese Crisis.

In early 2017 Italy has allocated 3.9 Million Euro of humanitarian aid in response to the South Sudanese crisis, out of which 1 million Euro was disbursed to support crucial humanitarian interventions carried out by the Italian NGO’s in the refugee camps in the northern Regions of Uganda (areas of intervention: water & sanitation, agriculture, education).

On June 19 Italy has carried out – in cooperation with the UN Humanitarian Logistic Base in Brindisi – an airlifted humanitarian delivery of relief items in favor of the Rhino refugee camp in the Arua Region. The items were handed over by the Ambassador Fornara, in cooperation with the Italian NGO “ACAV” (Associazione Centro Aiuti Volontari), on June 22nd.

At the Summit the Government of Italy pledged additional 5 Million Euro of humanitarian aid, of which 2 Million Euro will be specifically earmarked for activities to be carried out in Uganda by UNHCR and Italian NGO’s.

Beyond efforts in response to the refugee crisis, Italy has recently offered to the Ugandan Authorities a new soft loan of 10 Million Euro for the strengthening of the Ugandan National Health System. This effort is consistent with current development projects of the Italian cooperation in Uganda and in line with the longstanding bilateral co-operation with the Government of Uganda aimed at improving – also through partnership with UN agencies – its capacity to deliver basic services in the field of health.

There can be no humanitarian solution to a political crisis. The South Sudanese crisis is man-made. Only politics, diplomacy and continuous dialogue can put an end to the inhumane suffering of thousands of innocent civilians and bring a durable solution to the conflict. In his intervention during the Summit’s plenary Ambassador Fornara called upon the Leaders in the region for a renewed political effort and reminded in particular to South Sudanese leaders that their primary responsibility should be the promotion of the safety and well-being of their people.