Uganda Government Partners with Humanitarian Agencies and CSOs To Push for Increased Financing for Local & National Actors in The Refugee Response

Friday, July 13, 2018

KAMPALA – The Government of Uganda is calling for deliberate efforts towards increased funding and support for local and national actors in refugee response.

To promote the financing of local actors, government, through the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) under the Office of the Prime Minister has today held a dialogue with representatives from donor governments, the UN, and NGO community, to draw their commitment to this goal.

Held at Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala, the Minister for Refugees and Disaster Preparedness Hon Hilary Onek opened the dialogue stressing the critical role local and national actors play in humanitarian preparedness and response work, “Local and national actors play a pivotal role in refugee response like being the first responders, being the source of the indigenous knowledge and staying within the communities after the response,” the minister said. He also mentioned the current stretch in the international humanitarian system and thus urgent need to strengthen local and national actors’ access to international humanitarian funding and funding tools among other aspects.

The minister also said that although Uganda’s legal frame work for refugees is internationally acclaimed, hosting efforts have far reaching implications in terms of resources required, owing to the inherent economic constraints in Uganda.

“As per the Grand Bargain, the international community made a pledge to channel 25% of international emergency funding through national and local responders by 2020. However, only 2% of direct humanitarian funding reached local actors in 2016, 0.4% of this went to national NGOs”, Minister Onek added.

Speaking at the same event, Oxfam in Uganda interim Country Director Vincent Koch reiterated the need for localisation of the humanitarian sector saying, “The current funding picture in Uganda does not reflect this ambition; we know that of the international funding that came into Uganda in 2015, local actors received only 11% through their international partners – and this dynamic has not shifted significantly since then,” he said, adding, “Localization is not ‘Oxfam’s thing’, nor any one agencies – it is an agenda for our collective action; and in Uganda it is important that we continue the investments made these past few years. We will only see a strong, efficient national response system in Uganda when local actors have the funding they need to effectively deliver.”

In September 2016, Uganda committed to roll out the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework. However, the refugee response in Uganda is currently underfunded and requires more regional and international support to sustain its progressive policy.

The CRRF process in Uganda offers a unique opportunity to foster new ways of working in line with the two important global commitments – the New York Declaration and the Grand Bargain – including increasing the role of national responders to the extent possible and leveraging the comparative advantages of a diverse range of actors to work across the humanitarian-development nexus towards collective outcomes. “No response is comprehensive without the capacitation of first responders. They are the first once there when refugees start to come, and it is critical that local capacity to address the emergency humanitarian needs is available in all refugee hosting districts,” said Hon. Jenipher Namuyango the Minister of state for Local Government. She concluded by appreciating the efforts of all stakeholders in the joint efforts of calling for a localised humanitarian agenda.

Notes to editors: 

Globally, local and national responders directly received 2 percent (US$445 million) of international humanitarian assistance in 2016.[1] This includes funding to local and national governments, local and national NGOs, RCRC National Societies and local and national private sector organizations – or as a group, from now called local and national humanitarian actors (LNHAs).[2] Grand Bargain, in pursuit of promoting local actors, signatories committed themselves under commitment 2 to;

  • Increase and support multi-year investment in the institutional capacities of local and national responders.
  • Understand better and work to remove or reduce barriers that prevent organizations and donors from partnering with local and national responders in order to lessen their administrative burden.
  • Achieve by 2020 a global, aggregated target of at least 25 per cent of humanitarian funding to local and national responders as directly as possible to improve outcomes for affected people and reduce transactional costs.
  • Develop, with the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC), and apply a ‘localization’ marker to measure direct and indirect funding to local and national responders.
  • Make greater use of funding tools which increase and improve assistance delivered by local and national responders.

In Uganda, these commitments are aligned with objectives of the CRRF, and as stakeholders work to support District Coordination and Planning, the practical measures outlined in this brief can be taken to support greater funding opportunities that will deliver CRRF objectives, as well as ensure international actors in Uganda fulfill their international commitments.


[1] Global Humanitarian Assistance Report, 2017. Pg 74. Available at:

[2] Ibid

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