By Richard Adrama
Arua-Denmark’s envoy to the United Nations in Geneva Ambassador Carsten Stuar to launch Northern Uganda Resilience Initiative (NURI), a new Refugee Humanitarian program.
The diplomat’s visit to Uganda he toured major refugee hosting areas in West Nile where he launched a newly upgraded African Development Bank produce market at Rhino camp alongside other projects.
During the first leg of his tour, the envoy held two meetings with local officials in Arua first with representatives of the Office of the prime Minister in the Refugee Desk Officer’s office before meeting a delegation of the Arua district Local government officials in the District chairperson’s office.
The Ambassador discussed an array of views with the Local Government officials on issues related to management of refugee hosting and how best to achieve a smooth humanitarian intervention program that will benefit the refugees and the host communities in a sustainable manner.
Carsten allayed fears that the Danish Refugee Assistant to Refugees (D.A.R) Program that was in it is final operational stage is due to be phased out.
“There should be no cause of alarm about the end of the DAR program, because it is merely a change of the name to NURI. The only difference is that it has been reviewed to include new components like campaign against GBV and improved water project interventions,” Carsten said.
Acema Genesis, the Arua district Vice chairperson hailed the Danish Government for support towards Uganda’s efforts to host more refugees and pleaded to the Danish envoy and his delegation to go continue with more support.
“There is still a gap in the health and education sector. The infrastructure sector such as roads need improvement and we are committed to ensuring value for money,” he said.
Arua Resident District Commissioner, Peter Debele made an assurance that there is still substantial expanse of land in Pawor and Okollo, adding that in case of any eventuality, Arua district has sought alternative options.
“Of recent we (Arua district Local Government) contacted Pakwach and Nebbi to look into partnering with Arua district just in case Arua ran short of land which idea they welcomed,” Debele said.
Solomon Osakan, the Refugee desk officer in Arua Office of the prime Minister the visit was in light of Uganda’s progressive refugee policy and it being Africa’s largest refugee hosting country.
‘The purpose of the visit of Amb. Carsten and Mr Thomsen is to gain better understanding of challenges and opportunities in the field relating to strengthening the nexus between Development and Humanitarian response,” Osakan said.
Ambassador Carsten Stuar Fact file.
Carsten chaired the UNHCR executive committee between 2015 and 2016 and served as the permanent secretary to the UN in New York between 2007 and 2013. He was also the State secretary in Charge of Danish Development Corporation 2001 to 2007
Meanwhile his compatriot Thomsen has been responsible for humanitarian affairs and displacement related issues in the Danish Ministry Of Foreign Affairs. He previously held senior positions at the Danish Refugee Council starting 1993.