Some beneficiaries used their money to meet their most basic needs, others invested in livelihood activities like animal rearing — to buy goats, pigs and sheep.

3,000 Congolese refugees benefit from DRC Cash Distribution in Uganda

Close to 3,000 Congolese refugees in Uganda have benefitted from a Danish Refugee Council (DRC) cash project in Kyaka II refugee settlement.


The unconditional cash transfer project is funded by the European Union Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid (ECHO) and the United States Government through the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (BPRM).

Under the project, 3,000 beneficiaries have received 220,000 Uganda shillings, about USD 59. The money is meant to meet the basic needs of the most vulnerable new arrivals —the elderly, the disabled, child-headed households, lactating mothers and those with chronic illnesses.

Beya Furaha is a single mother of three, the youngest a toddler with a palate cleft on the upper lip. Displaced in a foreign country and without a source of income, Furaha worried about how and where she could get money to meet costs for surgery to remove the cleft in Kampala, Uganda’s capital, about 253 kilometres away from Kyaka.

The cash grant from DRC came as a relief to Furaha. She used the money to take her child to Mulago, Uganda’s national referral hospital, where her child underwent a successful surgery to remove the cleft.

”I spent part of the money on transport to Kampala and for meals,” she said. Furaha is now a much happier mother than when her child was still burdened by the cleft.

Neema Maria, 54, arrived in Uganda in January 2018. She lives alone in Kyaka II and was identified as vulnerable by DRC protection staff.  Since her arrival in Kyaka, Neema had been supplementing aid received from humanitarian agencies with earnings got from selling ”Anyonya,” a mixture of boiled beans and maize cones. She used her cash grant to buy more supplies and cups for her small eatery business.

Florence Ndagereje and her husband used their money to buy a mattress and materials to create a second room from their one-roomed shelter. The house had become too small for her family of six.

”Cash support to beneficiaries is a relevant and empowering intervention,” said Adams Aswani, DRC’s Area Manager in Kyaka II. ”Beneficiaries have been able to prioritize their needs and plan beforehand how to use their money. One beneficiary purchased initial stock to open a shop. There is no way this would have been possible with in-kind support,” said Aswani.

Guled Ismael Mohmoud, the DRC Cash Project Manager in Kyaka said the unconditional cash transfer project is meeting its set objectives.

”Our observation is that the emergency cash assistance is not only meeting the needs of the vulnerable new arrivals but is also serving as an opportunity for them to invest in different livelihood options,” said Mohmoud while stressing that the cash distribution is also serving as an important learning point for DRC for improved future cash programming.

The cash Kyaka project began in April and will end in November 2018.  The first cash distribution took place in June and the second in September.

Kyaka II is one of the settlements where refugees fleeing violence from the Democratic Republic of the Congo are settled in Uganda.  The settlement’s population has more than doubled since December 2017 when the most recent influx of refugees fleeing violence from the Congo began.

DRC has been operating in Kyaka II since 2013 providing protection/community services; supporting livelihoods; and managing the reception centre and water and Sanitation services.