Japanese Funding for IOM to Support Strengthening of Uganda’s Border Systems

April 20, 2019

Kampala - IOM has received USD1m (nearly UGX 3.7 billion) from the Japanese Government to assist Uganda reinforce its border management systems.

IOM is one of five UN agencies getting a total of USD7.5 million from the 2019 Japan Supplementary Budget, alongside the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS), and World Food Programme (WFP).  Japan is also giving another USD 2.8 million to Japanese international NGOs to support the same categories of the population.

Uganda has one of the largest refugee populations in Africa, hosting more than 1.24 million people, largely from neighboring South Sudan and Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The number of refugees from the DRC has increased sharply since December 2017, due to inter-ethnic conflicts in the country’s eastern provinces. The situation was further aggravated by the recent outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in the eastern DRC provinces along the border with Uganda.

The grant from Japan was formally announced on Tuesday at a joint press conference attended by representatives from UN agencies as well as the Ugandan Government and the Embassy of Japan.

IOM will use the funds for a one-year project that aims to strengthen the Government of Uganda’s capacity to respond to emergency-induced mass migration and individual security threats across the country’s borders. Apart from security, the project also aims to contribute in the strengthening of border health response and infrastructure.

IOM is implementing the project in partnership with Office of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control, the Ministry of Health and the Uganda National Bureau of Statistics.


In a statement, the Japanese Ambassador to Uganda, Kazuaki Kameda, encouraged the Ugandan Government and UN agencies to continue with efforts to improve their accountability of donor funds, and praised Uganda’s policy of keeping its doors open to refugees.

“Acknowledging Uganda’s generosity and its socio-economic burden resulting from its open-door policy, Japan has been providing support to alleviate the plight of host communities. Japan is determined to continue to support Uganda’s solidarity with refugees,” said Kameda.

The Uganda Minister for Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, Hilary Onek, said:  “We are appreciative of the partnership and support that the Government of Japan continue to extend to the Republic of Uganda in terms of Humanitarian Support, Development Assistance and Technical support.”

Speaking on behalf of the UN Resident Coordinator in Uganda, IOM Chief of Mission Ali Abdi said: “Through this contribution [to the five UN agencies], Japan is demonstrating its support to greater coherence between humanitarian and development interventions in support of refugees and communities hosting them in Uganda.”

The Government of Japan is a longstanding partner of IOM and the Government of Uganda. From 2016 to 2017, Japan funded IOM’s programme that aims to strengthen border management in Uganda. Under this programme IOM built the first Ugandan Immigration Training Academy in the central district of Nakasongola and trained 80 officials on document inspection and immigration intelligence.

For further information please contact the IOM Uganda Programme Coordinator Erika de Bona. Email: edebona@iom.int  Tel +256 312 263 210 
Media enquiries can be directed to IOM Uganda Public Information Officer, Richard M Kavuma. Email: ugandapiu@iom.int Tel +256 312 263 210.  MOB: +256 772 709 917 / 700 646 403;