EYEAFRICA TV: Kampala, Uganda: The Office of the Prime Minister(OPM) has partnered with civil society organizations and other financial players to implement the comprehensive financial inclusion for refugees’ framework to empower their socio – economic emancipation.
The acting commissioner for refugees in the office of the Prime Minister, Simon Gerald Menya, expressed the need for self-reliance and financial capacity building in refugee communities to reduce the government burden.
According to the office of the Prime Minister, Uganda has 1.5 million refugees from 31 countries; these huge number have started exerting pressure on the country’s resources.
With the total number of refugees, 300 are professionals in different disciplines some with strong entrepreneur skills. Simon Menya the Ag. Commissioner for refugees in the office of the Prime Minister says this exercise of empowering refugees with financial products is to relieve dependence.
Commissioner Menhya says the government has created favourable environment in refugee communities for economic activities and other investments which calls for financial literacy programs.
Financial inclusion for refugees program is supported by Finacial sector deepening and its targeting 250,000 households in five host communities of Bidibid, Nakivale, and Parolinya among others to ensure relevant markets, and formal financial services by encouraging financial institutions like banks to design special products for people living in refuge communities.
Among the services to boost the financial status of refugees include, bank accounts for savings, remittances, transactions, and loans to entrepreneurs, farmers and businesses as well as creating jobs by recruiting agents for field staff.
The financial inclusion for refugees is co – funded by the financial sector deepening Uganda and that of Africa. It will be implemented in the first 3-year phase by rural financial Initiative, and VisionFund in collabration with the office of the Prime Minister.