Special bond proposed to ease burden for refugee host states


Newly arrived refugees from South Sudan queue to be registered at Kuluba, north of the capital Kampala. Uganda currently hosts more than a million South Sudanese refugees. PHOTO FILE | AFP 

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The World Refugee Council is proposing refugee bonds, private equity instruments and confiscation of assets of violent regimes an innovative way to raise finances for the benefit of refugee-hosting countries.

The call comes at a time that refugee-hosting countries like Uganda are overburdened by the refugees needs besides those of host communities. These are part of 55 new measures to protect the interests of the forcibly displaced persons or refugees in any country.

The proposed measures are contained in the Council’s report, A Call to Action: Transforming the Global Refugee System. It provides concrete actions to protect the interests of refugees and internally displaced persons — particularly the interests of women and children — while helping governments to manage refugee movements.

The report is founded on the principle that all nations must share the responsibility of supporting refugees and the countries that host them.

In this endeavour, the Council initiated a process to implement the 55 recommendations during a meeting held in Addis Ababa with the African Union.

The AU also welcomed a partnership with the Council to hold the African Union’s Year of Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons themed: Towards Durable Solutions to Forced Displacement in Africa.

Other recommendations include: Creating an independent Global Action Network for the Forcibly Displaced, promoting leadership roles for women and youth, thereby giving a voice to more than half of those who are forcibly displaced globally, and holding perpetrators accountable before the law.

The Council has also called for a new peer review system to spotlight those in the international community who are not fulfilling their commitments to protect and assist refugees, to mobilise innovative financing systems, including refugee bonds, and promote special measures through the World Bank, the IMF and the WTO for countries hosting large numbers of refugees.

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