Environmental Resource Scarcity and Peaceful Co-existence between Refugees and Host Communities in Uganda
NRE Discussion Papers 2022-01
51 Pages Posted: 19 May 2022
Date Written: May 16, 2022
The Ugandan government has established refugee settlements near local communities. The literature highlights a progressive refugee policy, called the "Uganda Model," that brings economic benefits to host communities. However, geographical proximity may invite resource competition, impeding social integration. Using data from refugee households, this study tests whether population pressure on the resource base drives refugee-host tension. Results show that refugees with limited access to agricultural land and firewood negatively perceive interactions with the host population. This empirical pattern is particularly salient in the West Nile region, where resource scarcity is a mounting concern due to the recent influx of South Sudanese refugees. In contrast, we find no such evidence for water accessibility, except for refugees using public wells in the South West region. Overall, our empirical analyses suggest that refugees' poor access to environmental resources is a potential source of local conflict under the Uganda Model. Thus, the peaceful co-existence of refugees and host communities requires efficient resource sharing and management schemes in refugee-hosting areas.
Keywords: refugees, natural resource sharing, social integration, Uganda
JEL Classification: O12, O13, O15, R23
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation