KAMPALA, (Xinhua) --
An eight-month biometric verification
exercise of refugee numbers in Uganda has registered 1.1
million refugees and asylum seekers, a drop from the 1.4
million refugees that were previously estimated to be in
the east African country.
Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in a
joint statement with the Ugandan government on Monday
attributed the drop in the number to among others death
or spontaneous return of refugees to their countries of
statement also said the verification exercise cleaned up
cases where there were multiple registration.
also some cases of multiple registrations by refugees at
the height of the emergency influxes of South Sudanese
refugees between mid-2016 and mid-2017, when
registration systems were sometimes overwhelmed by the
sheer number and speed of arrivals. These cases were
identified and removed from the database,” the statement
Progressively, as the verification was completed in
refugee settlements, new food assistance collection
procedures were rolled out by the UN World Food Program,
UNHCR and government.
new system, each person receiving assistance is
confirmed against biometric data collection in the
verification exercise. These procedures mitigate the
risk of fraud, ensuring that assistance is well managed
and provided only to verified, eligible refugees and
asylum seekers,” the joint statement said.
UNHCR ordered for the audit process in March this year
following allegations that some senior government
officials mismanaged funds meant to support refugees and
inflated the number of refugees in the country.
figures then showed that Uganda hosted about 1.4 million
refugees, mainly from South Sudan, Democratic Republic
of Congo, Rwanda and Burundi.