In world's largest refugee camp, youth are drawn to soccer

A meeting between the United Nations and Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni at the Uganda Solidarity Summit on Friday was also trying to help raise £6.3 billion to improve to the wave of South Sudanese refugees.

The United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, who was present at the summit, lauded the steps taken in support of refugees. "Not all refugees are accepted, some are rejected, and sometimes in countries much richer than Uganda", said Guterres.

Uganda hosts 1.3 million refugees, with 900,000 of them hailing from South Sudan. The United Nations secretary-general is making a plea for the protection of refugees around the world, saying some richer countries haven't been as tolerant as some in Africa, and seeking $8 billion for almost a million South Sudanese refugees and the host communities that officials say are near the breaking point.

"Because of my education I have the confidence to speak before you today, in a language that I learned in Uganda", she said.

But the High Commissioner, the Secretary-General and all speakers emphasized that what refugees need most is peace.

"They are allowed to farm the land, allowed to build the same schools, the same hospitals, the same health centres, to get jobs, to have a noble life, to live in dignity", the United Nations chief said.

The global community has pledged $358.2 million during a refugee solidarity summit here Friday. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said.

According to the United Nations, over 2,000 people flee South Sudan daily into Uganda.

"It is necessary for the worldwide community to recognise that Uganda has had an exemplary refugee policy in the past".

Civil war broke out in 2013 after President Salva Kiir accused his rival and former deputy Riek Machar of plotting a coup against him. A peace pact in 2015 briefly halted the conflict, but it exploded into war again last July.

This was announced by president Museveni at the end of the 2 day summit.

There were already some 200,000 living in Uganda due to the initial outbreak of fighting in 2013, with the latest influx pushing the overall number close to a million. One of them, Bidi Bidi is among the world's largest refugee settlements, hosting about 270,000 people.

The UN estimates that another 500 000 South Sudanese will arrive in Uganda this year.

The summit will not include discussions on how to end the ongoing fighting, but Guterres insisted that the violence stop.

"I don't think anyone ever anticipated that we would be dealing with one million refugees out of South Sudan alone", David Beasley, executive director of the World Food Programme, told Reuters.

This post was syndicated from The Independent Uganda:.

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