UNICEF Photo © UNICEF/2014/Phillip Gerald Dyer


UNICEF is requesting US$36 million to meet the critical humanitarian needs of refugees and emergency-affected Ugandan populations.

In 2015, UNICEF and partners plan for:

refugee and Karamoja children aged 1-14 years for deworming


children and women have access to at least 7.5 litres of clean water / person / day


school-aged children have access to emergency education and early childhood development services

2015 Requirements: US$36,111,839

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Total affected population: 1.9 million
Total affected children: 1.2 million

Total people to be reached in 2015: 650,000
Total children to be reached in 2015: 422,500

Since late December 2013, Uganda has stretched its capacity to assist both host communities and approximately 130,000 new South Sudanese refugees in the remote West Nile sub-region, including women, child survivors of sexual violence, and separated and unaccompanied children in urgent need of protection. Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rates of 19.6 per cent and Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) levels of 4.1 per cent1 can be found among the South Sudanese refugees in Arua, Adjumani and Kiryandongo districts. UNICEF and partners are planning a response to needs for an additional 80,000 refugees in 2015. Uganda faces chronic underdevelopment in the north, including in the Karamoja region where poverty levels are the highest in the country at 76 per cent. Together with the West Nile region, Karamoja has the highest proportion of children (68 per cent) experiencing deprivations in two or more dimensions. As a result of recurrent drought and persistent insecurity, coupled with poor access to basic social services, it is a challenge to meet the basic household nutritional requirements of those living in Karamoja. The food security situation in Karamoja worsened last year, with 59 per cent of the population there currently experiencing stressed food security2 levels. In addition, the GAM rates of 13.4 per cent among children under age 5 are the highest recorded in the last five years for Karamoja region3, while SAM prevalence has remained above the emergency threshold at about 3 per cent.

Humanitarian strategy

2015 Programme Targets

Nutrition and health

  • 19,445 children under 5 treated for malnutrition
  • 317,475 children aged 6 to 59 months targeted for vitamin A supplementation, deworming, measles and polio vaccination (244,975 in Karamoja; 72,500 refugees and communities)
  • 865,676 children aged 1-14 years among the refugees and Karamoja for deworming. (217,600 refugees and communities; 648,076 in Karamoja)
  • 34,700 pregnant/lactating women receive iron/folate supplementation


  • 67,200 children and women have access to at least 7.5 litres of clean water / person / day
  • 42,000 women and child care givers provided with hygiene education and information pertaining to safe and hygienic practices
  • 27,300 children in learning facilities and child friendly spaces, 1-2 litres of drinking water per child per day, 40 children per hygienic latrine at schools with hand washing facilities

Child Protection

  • 3,000 separated children registered using RFTR and supported either to be reunified with their parents or to be placed in suitable interim care arrangements if required
  • 29,000 affected refugee and host community children are provided psycho-social support
  • Additional 9,000 very vulnerable Ugandan children in need of HA are provided with psycho-social support and other child protection services as required


  • 108,000 school-aged children have access to emergency education and early childhood development services

In 2015, UNICEF will continue to support emergency response and resilience-building efforts coordinated by the Office of the Prime Minister of Uganda. In collaboration with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the World Food Programme (WFP), UNICEF will deliver an integrated response targeting the needs of refugees as well as affected Ugandan communities. UNICEF’s work with the Food and Agriculture Organization and WFP will focus on enhancing resilience in Karamoja, including building the capacity of partners in nutrition and enhancing early warning and early action systems to reduce disaster impacts. UNICEF will provide an integrated package of health services for women and children including immunization, as well as prevention of and treatment for malnutrition. Provision of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) promotion activities will also continue in 2015 including WASH-in-schools programmes. UNICEF will support the provision of education programmes to promote peacebuilding for adolescents, psychosocial support to children through child-friendly spaces, and critical services to child survivors of sexual violence. UNICEF will work with Government to use innovative programme delivery modalities to systematically improve the efficiency of its humanitarian response. For instance, the use of a mobile phone application called Rapid Family Tracing and Reunification (RapidFTR) and DigiSchool will continue to be piloted in Child Friendly Spaces as a means to improve the delivery of child protection services and provide educational content and life skills information.

Results from 2014

UNICEF Uganda had appealed for US$48,400,000 to meet the humanitarian needs of children and women in 2014. As of mid-November 2014, a total of US$21.5 million was available against the appeal. The response operation was on three major fronts: (1) responding to the needs posed by the influx of refugees from DRC; (2) responding to the worsening food security and protection issues in Karamoja; and (3) launching a comprehensive set of interventions to support the arrival of South Sudanese refugees into Uganda. More children than planned have been reached with life-saving vaccinations for polio and measles, made possible by UNICEF support to the Ministry of Health to undertake mass vaccination campaigns carried out in three additional districts during the influx of South Sudanese refugees. In Karamoja, at least 9,274 children with severe acute malnutrition were treated in UNICEF-supported therapeutic feeding centres. Some 22,700 children were provided with psychosocial support through the construction of 34 Child Friendly Spaces and training of care-givers on structured recreational activities. UNICEF reached more children than originally anticipated through the application of a system-wide strengthening of community and institutional child protection mechanisms with 2,500 children benefitting from interim care arrangements, including 1,900 Separated Children who have been registered using RapidFTR (cases were less than expected).

Funding requirements

In line with Uganda’s refugee appeal (DRC and South Sudanese refugees), the UNICEF/WFP/FAO resilience strategy in Karamoja (‘A Joint Strategy for Building Community Resilience in Karamoja’), and the UNICEF Country Programme’s commitment to emergency response, UNICEF is requesting US$36 million to meet the critical humanitarian needs of refugees and emergency-affected Ugandan populations. Without additional funding, UNICEF will not be able to scale up response to the humanitarian needs of South Sudanese and Congolese refugees or support the national response to the country’s continuing nutrition crisis in Karamoja, and provide crucial services to refugees and affected Ugandan communities, including WASH and health services to those adversely affected and/or displaced by flooding. Basic supplies for primary education are also urgently needed to uphold children’s right to education, especially among the large displaced population.

1 Food Security and Nutrition Assessment, FSNA, March 2014
2 Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) for Karamoja, September 2014
3 FSNA, June 2014