“Should We Host Afghan Refugees?” Majority of Ugandans Say “Yes”

by | Sep 13, 2021

Uganda has a long history as a welcoming nation for refugees. It is the current home to approximately 1.5 million people who fled their homes to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster, making it the third-largest host of refugees in the world.1

The majority of refugees in Uganda come from neighboring South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. However, in late August 2021, Uganda agreed to temporarily host 2,000 Afghan refugees after the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.

Premise ran a survey in Uganda to better understand people’s sentiments about their country hosting Afghan refugees. With approximately 1,000 submissions, our Ugandan Contributors largely demonstrate a welcoming attitude:

  • More than half of responding Contributors (55%) fully support Uganda hosting Afghan refugees primarily because they understand the danger many Afghans are in right now.
  • 81% of respondents agree that any country that can do something to help Afghans should do so.

Of those not in support of hosting Afghan refugees, 32% are afraid of security threats like the Taliban or ISIS attacks in Uganda, and 26% believe that the country is not equipped to host refugees from Afghanistan.

Although some Ugandans are afraid of terrorist attacks in their country due to the decision to host Afghan refugees, more than half of our respondents believe that their government is prepared to take in the refugees and can maintain the current security level. Furthermore, a majority of our respondents believe refugee populations benefit the host community, with 40% citing economic growth as a benefit.

While Ugandans support taking in refugees from Afghanistan, the majority (64%) also feel that the current situation in Afghanistan is a result of US intervention and that the US should take responsibility.

As demonstrated, Premise offers the ability to monitor and map public sentiment and see how it changes over time. Using this rigorous, data-driven method to better understand what people are thinking about an issue or event enables decision-makers to respond accordingly with informed decisions.

1 The UN Refugee Agency. Country – Uganda. (2021) https://data2.unhcr.org/en/country/uga