Refugees to benefit from business grant

By Gaaniko Samson Jerry   

Refugees in Uganda Rhino Refugee camp and the host communities will benefit from the Grant Capital business supported by International Labour Organization (ILO).

The initiative aimed at reducing the negative impact posed by Covid-19 pandemic that has led to the collapse of several businesses in Uganda as well as the refugee’s business community.

The program will be implemented by the Federation of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises Uganda (FSME) which has identified 100 business entities in Rhino Refugee camp to benefit from a grant capital to revive and boost their businesses.

Juba Monitor spoke to Norbert Olua, the Senior business Adviser with Federation of Small and Micro enterprise during meeting with Yoro Base Camp.

He said after presenting their findings, ILO decided to partner with the business communities in the camp so as to support some of their businesses in order to build up resilience to help them cope up with the situations.

Norbert added that, they conducted the rapid study visiting about 820 businesses within Rhino camp.

Geoffrey Dada, the General Manager for macadaizes business in Ofua zone III said the business started in 2016 with only $100 but has since grown to UGsh 3.5 million.

“We came to this area when coronavirus broke out, we sat down came with this idea, as we had no idea before,” Mr. Olua said.

He said the idea will help the community to expand their small-scale businesses.

Mercy Andrew, another South Sudanese refugee of Ofua zone said she started selling mix business items.

“The money I started my business with was UGsh 120,000,’’Ms. Andrew said.

She added that, the business dropped down due to Covid-19 pandemic.

However, Peter Nimaya of GBS enterprise limited has mix goods, said Covid-19 lockdown imposed high cost of transport making them to increase prices for goods.

“The issue is transport cost because we used to bring our goods from Arua city to this village, but due to Covid-19, transport cost has increased,’’ Mr. Nimaya said.

He said the huge interest in the business goes to transport leaving them with no benefit in the business.

Due to the impact created by Covid-19, many South Sudanese refugees have considered going back to South Sudan with others choosing to remain in Uganda with some  doubting the status of peace back at home.

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