A year ago it was Greece and Turkey that bore the brunt of the world’s worst refugee crisis. Newspapers and television bulletins were full of stories about the influx of a million people in Europe, fleeing conflict in Syria, Iraq and other parts of the Middle East or Africa.
- Uganda took in 1.3 million people in past 12 months from neighbouring countries
- Most from South Sudan, which has suffered through famine
- Thousands of refugees return to Nigeria from Cameroon
Now, an even bigger refugee crisis is unfolding, not in Europe but in Africa. But it has had far less media coverage, and it is questionable whether Australians know much about it.
Uganda is now the centre of the world’s fastest growing refugee crisis.
In the past 12 months the central African nation has taken in around 1.3 million people — more than Greece, Turkey or any other country in the world at the height of last year’s crisis in Europe.
Every day around 2,000 people stream across Uganda’s borders fleeing famine, drought and violence in neighbouring countries.
Most are from South Sudan, which was declared to be in a state of famine early this year. Although conditions have eased slightly, the reality for many on the ground in South Sudan has changed little.
The number of people struggling to find enough food each day has grown to 6 million, the highest level of food insecurity the country has ever seen.
The United Nations says almost 276,000 people are estimated to be severely malnourished and in need of immediate life-saving aid.