British pledges 163bn/- for Tanzanian refugees

25Dec 2017
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
British pledges 163bn/- for Tanzanian refugees

TANZANIA is set to be one of the beneficiaries of a fresh, $240 million (536 billion/-) aid package from the United Kingdom to help maintain refugees in the African continent.

The Theresa May administration has pledged to give the country a total of $73.3 million (163bn/-) over four years, which will be used to support 300,000 refugees staying in the country.

Tanzania is hosting refugees from Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo who fled their countries of origin following political uncertainty caused by delayed presidential elections.

In December 2016, elections in the DRC were postponed to the end of 2017, but the country’s electoral commission has now pushed them further forward to April 2019.

Under the same UK refugees aid project, South Sudan will receive $16.1 million over five years to be given to people at risk of fleeing from the war-torn country.

According to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), an average of about 1,800 South Sudanese refugees a day have fled to Uganda in the past year. The exodus has become the fastest-growing refugee crisis in the world.

The UK aid will be in form of cash and vouchers, health assistance, and also support for integration of refugees returning to the country.

Libya will receive $6.7 million from the package to provide humanitarian aid and protection to migrants and refugees stranded in detention centres.

According to the UK’s International Development Secretary, Penny Mordaunt, the new money package is aimed at helping build infrastructure, create jobs, and destroy smuggling routes across Libya, Sudan and Tanzania.

“The sheer scale of the migration crisis in the Mediterranean makes it one of the most pressing global challenges we face, and behind the numbers are millions of individual tales of both hope and tragedy,” said Mordaunt.

The money pumped into the African states will also indirectly benefit the local populations in the host countries.

Britain has been trying to slash the overall number of refugees coming from Africa. Net migration to Britain over the past 12 months has fallen by the largest amount since records began, with EU nationals accounting for three-quarters of those who chose to return to their native country.

Meanwhile, data from the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) organization shows that refugee camps in Tanzania which house close to 300,000 refugees are overstretched.

UNHCR puts the total population of refugees in Tanzania at 743,000 people. MSF, which offers medical services to the camps, said it has recorded a four-fold increase in the number of outpatient consultations.

Unsanitary living conditions in the camps contribute to cases of malaria, diarrhoea, respiratory tract infections, and skin problems. MSF says.

Uganda could also do with some aid considering the country is hosting the largest number of refugees on the African continent.

The country hosts 940,835 refugees and people in “refugee-like situations,” according to MSF.