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EU offers emergency aid funds for Congo refugees in Uganda       

KAMPALA Uganda (Xinhua) -- The European Union has announced a 100,000 Euros humanitarian funding towards Congolese refugees in Uganda.

“Following a recent influx of refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) into Uganda, the European Commission has made an initial 100,000 Euros in humanitarian funding available for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC),” EU announced on Wednesday.

Emmanuel D. Gyezaho, the Press and Information Officer at EU in Uganda said the funding is part of the EU’s overall contribution to IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) and will allow the Uganda Red Cross Society to assist 6,000 newly arrived Congolese refugees from Djugu in Ituri province.

EU said majority of these refugees form Congo are reaching Uganda in rickety fishing boats across Lake Albert before being transferred to Kyangwali Refugee Settlement. “However, many of the fleeing Congolese are unable to pay for the journey across the lake. An estimated 65 percent of the refugees are children,” added the communication.

Since December 1 2017, 13,970 refugees have arrived from DRC’s Ituri and North Kivu provinces, bringing the total number of Congolese refugees in Uganda to over 242,000. The refugees reportedly fled a new cycle of intercommunal violence which saw armed groups killing, looting and torching houses.

“EU funding is being released to increase the safe water supply and improve sanitation, hygiene and health services. It is crucial that we provide dignified living conditions and prevent disease outbreaks,” said Isabelle D’Haudt, Head of Office for EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid in Kampala.

Old and new conflicts in DRC have driven an estimated 4.4 million Congolese from their homes. The vast majority, 3.9 million people, are internally displaced in DRC. The remaining half a million are refugees in neighbouring countries.



Chinese funded projects create over 16,500 jobs in Uganda last year: official

KAMPALA Uganda (Xinhua) -- Chinese-funded projects totaling 53 have created 16,511 jobs for Ugandans in the first 11 months of 2017, while bilateral trade between China and Uganda amounted to 750 million U.S. dollars during the same period, Chinese Ambassador to Uganda Zheng Zhuqiang has said.

Zheng made the revelation on Monday while addressing hundreds of Chinese living in Uganda during celebrations for the upcoming Chinese New Year in the capital Kampala.

“In 2017, both China and Uganda maintained good momentum of development in various fields such as economic cooperation, trade and investment, culture, educational exchange and government assistance,” he said.

He also cited the Confucius Institute at Makerere University launched three years ago in collaboration with China’s Xiangtan University as an example of deepening cultural ties.

The institute which aims at promoting business and cultural ties between the two countries has seen a surge in Ugandans interested in learning more about China and enrolling for courses in Chinese.

“The friendly relations between China and Uganda will even be deepened further in 2018 and these will be favorable to all those who are engaged in Uganda’s development agenda,” he said.

He also cited the Chinese-funded projects such as the Isimba Hydropower Station, the Entebbe Airport Expressway and others as creating employment for the locals.


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