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Yes, Uganda hosts more refugees than any other African country

This article is more than 6 years old

BBC Africa recently tweeted - to its more than 1.6 million followers - that Uganda hosts the largest number of refugees on the African continent.

“It's true! @UNHCR says Uganda is now home to the largest number of refugees in Africa. Over one million South Sudanese have fled there,” the corporation replied to a question.

As we explained in a previous fact-check on the topic, Uganda has experienced a surge in refugees from South Sudan following the breakout of conflict in the country in 2013. The number of displaced South Sudanese people rose from 115,000 in 2013 to 1.28 million in October of 2016. Uganda opened its borders, welcoming a significant number of these persons.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is the body charged with the welfare of “refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people”.

As a part of its duties, the body collects data on refugees across the world. It produces an annual publication called Global Trends which contains “the latest facts and figures on refugees, asylum-seekers, migrants and other persons for which the agency has a mandate”.

The latest Global Trends report provides data on displaced persons for 2016.

It shows that Uganda did host the most number of refugees on the continent as of the end of 2016. The country gave refuge to 940,835 refugees and people in “refugee-like situations”. Ethiopia followed with a refugee population of 791,631, while the Democratic Republic of Congo hosted 451,956 refugees.

In total, Africa hosted 5,531,693 refugees. This was only surpassed by Asia, with 8,608,597 refugees.

However, when it comes to refugees per capita, Chad topped the list in Africa. The country hosted 27 refugees per 1,000 inhabitants, while Uganda hosted 23 per 1,000. South Sudan followed closely with 21 refugees per 1,000 inhabitants.

Additional reading

Did Uganda receive more refugees daily in 2016 than many European nations did the whole year?

GUIDE: Defining migration, migrants, and refugees (and why it matters)

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