Uganda: Food shortages, violence still plague LGBTI refugees

Ugandan LGBTI refugees at the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya are fighting malnutrition and homophobic violence with occasional  assistance from supporters abroad. They are seeking help through an online fund drive and advocacy.

In September, a group of the LGBTI Ugandans trekked several miles from the camp to the local office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees to plead for protection from other refugees’ homophobic hostility and relief from the camp’s harsh conditions.

The LGBTI refugees reported that UNHCR staffers and the Refugee Affairs Secretariat had held several meetings with them and agreed to make some changes, including a new protection strategy for LGBTI refugees that would be developed in coordination with the refugees and implemented “in due time.”

Planned changes include assigning different personnel to work with the LGBTI community, adding and restoring security fences, and providing social support.

Soon after their return from those meetings, the whole camp was hit by a cutback in food distribution. On Oct. 2, the U.N.’s World Food Program announced that it was running short on funds. In response, it cut food distributions by 30 percent (according to the U.N.) or by 50 percent (according to the refugees). Read more via 76 Crimes