UNICEF Photo: Young children are playing with toys received from UNICEF in Rwamwanja refugee camp located in Kamwenge District, Western Uganda. The camp is home to over 35000 refugees, most of them from Democratic Republic of Congo. © UNICEF/UGDA201300187/Michele Sibiloni Young children are playing with toys received from UNICEF in Rwamwanja refugee camp located in Kamwenge District, Western Uganda. The camp is home to over 35000 refugees, most of them from Democratic Republic of Congo.


UNICEF requires an additional US$21.9 million to respond to the refugee influx from the South Sudan crisis, bringing its overall 2014 requirements to US$48.4 million.

South Sudan Conflict: Sub-regional Funding Priorities [PDF]
(updated 31 July 2014)

South Sudan Conflict: Crisis response infographic [PDF]

Inter-Agency Appeal for the South Sudanese Refugee Emergency (January - December 2014)

In 2014, UNICEF and partners plan for:

children under 5 treated for malnutrition


people have access to safe water


school-aged children supported with access to emergency education

2014 Requirements: US$48,400,000

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Humanitarian situation


Total affected population: 2.6 million
Total affected children: 1.6 million

Total people to be reached in 2014: 800,000
Total children to be reached in 2014: 440,000

Since the outbreak of violence in South Sudan in December 2013, an estimated 116,000 new South Sudanese refugees have arrived in Uganda. Current planning estimates project that an additional 34,000 refugees may arrive in Uganda by the end of 2014, resulting in a total caseload of more than 400,000 registered refugees, asylum seekers and displaced people. These refugees include women, child survivors of sexual violence, and separated and unaccompanied children in urgent need of protection. The capacities of local government and social services to respond are being stretched to their limits, with health centers requiring additional staff, space and supplies to address refugee health and nutrition needs, and with schools try to cope with a dramatic increase in enrollment (for example, more than 300 students per classroom have been reported in Adjumani alone). The Government of Uganda is offering refugee status to those fleeing the latest outbreaks of violence in both South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on a prima facia basis, including more than 100,000 DRC refugees who arrived in Uganda in 2013.

The country is also responding to significant nutrition, health, water and sanitation concerns in Karamoja, the most underdeveloped part of the country which is particularly vulnerable to climatic, economic and conflict-related shocks. Over 80 per cent of the Karamaja population live below the poverty line and the region lags behind the rest of the country in all socio-economic indicators.1 The food security situation has worsened over the same time last year2 with conditions expected to deteriorate further as the lean season progresses to the end of July. Malnutrition remains high among refugees with rates of severe acute malnutrition (SAM) from 3 to 4.5 per cent in some Congolese and South Sudanese refugee settlements respectively.3 Planning for recurrent natural hazards must be systematically incorporated into development strategies. Efforts aimed at proactively managing and reducing risks and building the resilience of vulnerable households and communities to recurrent shocks are desperately needed.

Humanitarian strategy

2014 Revised Programme Targets

Nutrition and health

  • 18,976 children under 5 treated for malnutrition
  • 300,840 children aged 6 to 59 months receive vitamin A supplementation, deworming, measles and polio vaccination (237,840 in Karamjoa; 63,000 refugees and communities)
  • 9,152 pregnant/lactating women receive iron/folate supplementation


  • 210,000 people have access to safe water and hygiene messaging
  • 20,500 schoolchildren benefit from improved water and sanitation facilities (10,000) and practice good hygiene behavior (10,5000)

Child Protection

  • 6,300 unaccompanied and separated children receive family tracing and reunification support as well as interim care arrangements
  • 19,000 affected refugee and host community children are provided psycho-social support 
  • 21,300 children affected by natural disasters, migration and conflict benefit from strengthened child protection mechanisms


  • 158,000 school-aged children have access to emergency education and early childhood development services

UNICEF is part of the overall emergency response effort coordinated by the Office of the Prime Minister of Uganda. UNICEF works closely with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the World Food Programme (WFP) to respond to the needs of refugees and affected Ugandan communities. UNICEF is committed to the government’s approach of supporting refugees through local service provision, and is working closely with district local governments and host communities to provide assistance. UNICEF also works with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and WFP to support a strategy for enhancing resilience in Karamoja where UNICEF’s primary focus is to strengthen the nutritional status of women and children, scale-up high impact nutrition interventions, integrate nutrition into early warning systems, and strengthen nutrition-agricultural linkages, contingency planning, preparedness and response.

In child protection, UNICEF will continue to provide psycho-social support to children through child-friendly spaces and critical services to child survivors of sexual violence. UNICEF will also continue to build on a variety of humanitarian and development innovations to improve the efficiency of its humanitarian response activities. In particular, a rapid family tracing and reunification mobile phone-based programme is being implemented as a way of tracing and reuniting separated and unaccompanied children. U-Report, a free short message service for refugees to voice their opinions and concerns, has been implemented to report deaths, the breakdown of equipment, gender-based violence, and corporal punishment, as well as to ensure that the voices of displaced populations are amplified, heard and incorporated into the national dialogue. With the introduction of efficient microorganisms, latrines in refugee-affected areas have improved capacity to accommodate increased usage. UNICEF is also supporting the Government of Uganda to take a leadership role on such innovations and to mainstream them into the national emergency response approach.

Results 2014 (January to June)

During the first half of 2014, UNICEF’s humanitarian programme focused on launching a comprehensive set of interventions to support the arrival of South Sudanese refugees, responding to the needs posed by the influx of refugees from the DRC, and responding to the worsening food security and protection concerns in Karamoja. Across all three areas, UNICEF’s focus has been to provide life-saving humanitarian support while strengthening existing systems to build resilience against recurring shocks. From January to June 2014, UNICEF and partners reached more than 156,789 children with vitamin A supplementation and deworming (including 38,389 refugee and host community children and 118,000 children in Karamoja) and some 54,120 children with life-saving polio and measles vaccinations. UNICEF and partners also provided psychosocial support to 4,000 children, and reached 6,300 children with strengthen child protection mechanisms. In WASH, UNICEF and partners provided more than 100,000 refugees and affected host community members with access to clean water, and 40,000 schoolchildren in Karamoja with improved water and sanitation facilities.

*Targets are based on the operational planning figure of 150,000 South Sudanese refugees expected to arrive by the end of 2014;
** Targets have been adjusted in light of current SAM prevalence estimates (4.5 per cent SAM among South Sudanese refugees and 3.0 per cent prevalence among Congolese refugees according to UNICEF nutrition surveys conducted in spring 2014).

Funding requirements

Within the framework of the Inter-Agency Appeal for the South Sudanese Refugees Emergency, the appeal for refugees from the Eastern DRC, and the inter-agency resilience strategy, UNICEF is requesting US$48.4 million to meet the time-critical humanitarian needs of crisis-affected women and children in Uganda, including US$ 21.9 million to respond to the new influx of South Sudanese refugees. As of 30 June, US$11.9 million, or 25 per cent of total requirements, was available against the 2014 appeal. Additional humanitarian funding is critical to enable UNICEF to scale up its emergency response for South Sudanese refugees, support the national response to the country’s continuing nutrition crisis in Karamoja, and provide critical services to refugees and affected Ugandan communities, including in the areas of WASH, health and nutrition, education and child protection.

* Appeal figure is based on the inter-agency South Sudan Refugee Emergency Revised Regional Response Plan (with the planning figure of 150,000 South Sudanese refugees arriving in Uganda by the end of 2014);
** Out of US$48, million, US$21.9 million is for the response to South Sudan Refugees Crisis;
*** All funds were received in 2014, and include recovery costs.

1 United Nations Development Programme, ‘Human Development Report 2013 The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World’, UNDP, New York, 2012.
2 See The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) for Karamoja, April, 2014; In December 2013, the overall prevalence of global acute malnutrition (GAM) among children aged 6 to 59 months in Karamoja was 11 per cent, and severe acute malnutrition (SAM) was 3.5 per cent.
3 UNICEF nutrition surveys conducted in spring 2014.