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Yesterday The Economist highlighted the lessons that Uganda’s liberal refugee policy can have for other countries. 

Uganda is host to more than 1 million refugees from countries such as South Sudan and the DRC. The government gives refugees a plot of land and lets them work. As the article says, “the refugees boost local businesses and act as a magnet for foreign aid”. Many Ugandans therefore see them as a benefit, not a burden.

The article notes the work of Alexander Betts (Professor of Forced Migration and International Affairs, RSC) and Paul Collier (Professor of Economics and Public Policy, Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford) “who argue that rich countries should pay other ‘havens’ to open their labour markets, as Uganda has”, with the result being a ‘triple win’, for refugees, for host countries, and for rich countries to which refugees may otherwise go. 

Also mentioned is the Jordan Compact, which Betts and Collier were involved in initiating. Through this Compact the Jordanian government has let refugees work in certain sectors, in exchange for assistance from the EU, the World Bank, and Britain.

Read the article here

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