Uganda’s progressive policies and decades-long strategies of promoting refugee self-reliance have not been effective and sufficient in improving the social, economic and financial inclusion of refugees and host communities. As such, refugees and host communities are not sufficiently resilient. This is attributed to the competition for the ever-reducing land and other natural resources between refugees and host communities that affects peaceful co-existence and the carried forward conflict from refugee’s country of origin, resulting into tribal tensions in the refugee settlements.
The Jobs and Livelihoods Integrated Refugee Plan (JLIRP) envisions a secure, self-reliant and resilient refugee and host community households in refugee hosting districts with a goal of ensuring refugees and host communities that are socially, economically and financially included in a sustainable manner in local development by 2025.
The JLIRP will pursue five (5) strategic objectives namely: (1) Peaceful coexistence and economic interaction extended and strengthened between refugees and host communities by 2025; (2) Sustainable economic opportunities created in 13 refugee hosting districts for improved competitiveness and inclusive growth of refugees and host communities by 2025; (3) Food, nutrition and income security of 486,861 refugee and 1,152,087 host community households improved by 2025; (4) Skilled refugees and host communities capable of harnessing employment opportunities in the country by 2025; and (5) A minimum of 361,000 (five per cent) of refugee and host communities’ vulnerable populations are fully included and actively participating in local development initiatives of the country by 2025.
Similarly, the JLIRP is anchored on five development pillars that will ensure (1) Strengthening refugee and host community social cohesion; (2) Enabling entrepreneurial-led development and market growth system; (3) Increasing agricultural productivity, production, and marketable volumes; (4) Increasing access to market relevant skills training to enhance employability and job creation; and (5) Promoting an effective shock responsive refugee and host community social protection and social inclusion systems.
Government of Uganda has developed the Jobs and Livelihoods Integrated Response Plan (JLIRP) to better define opportunities with partners and other relevant actors in order to implement sustainable livelihoods programmes for the refugees and host communities in Uganda. The plan is designed to run for five years, from June 2020 – June 2025 in the refugee hosting districts including: Madi Okollo, Terego, Adjumani, Kikuube, Yumbe, Obongi, Kiryandongo, Kyegegwa, Isingiro, Lamwo, Kampala, Kamwenge, and Koboko.
The plan has been developed for an integrated approach of enhancing implementation including the contribution of all Jobs and Livelihood Sector players, government MDAs, humanitarian partners, development partners, private sector and implementing agencies.
The JLIRP is costed at a total of UGX 608,515,468,751 (exchange rate of 3600 UGX to 1 USD which is equivalent to USD 169,032,075) for the five years of implementation by five sector leads, namely: Ministry of East African Community Affairs; Uganda Business and Technical Examinations Board; Ministry of Education and Sports; Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries; and Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives.
Given the socio-economic impact of COVID-19, the JLIRP is more important than ever. The JLIRP will contribute to resilient, sustainable and inclusive development of refugees and host communities through the improvement of social cohesion; increasing economic opportunities by strengthening market systems; increasing household income, food and nutrition security and agricultural output for in-country and export markets; increasing productive coping strategies; increasing access to vocational and technical education; and improving social protection key to socio-economic inclusion of refugees and host communities in refugee hosting districts. To realize the JLIRP vision, a Community Driven Development Approach will be used through cross-agency collaboration strategies.