EASTERN AND SOUTHERN AFRICA Uganda
A family sits outside their home after a recent rain in Busoru III Village. Uganda is still recovering from a deep humanitarian crisis in the north. Lingering problems of displacement, undernutrition and inadequate sanitation continue to affect many people.
Children and women in crisis
Uganda is in the midst of an extensive recovery from a deep humanitarian crisis that affected the entire northern region. At the same time, recovery may also be affected by the Ugandan presidential elections and the referendum in Sudan in early 2011, which draft estimates say may cause an additional 100,000 new refugees to seek shelter in Uganda. There are currently still over 112,0001 displaced persons in northern Uganda, including 28,000 children. Additionally, climate change is expected to produce increasingly erratic rainfall, resulting in floods and landslides and exacerbating the effects of cyclic drought. Although severe acute malnutrition and global acute malnutrition are below emergency levels, undernutrition is persistent in the north and north-eastern regions and sanitation coverage in some districts is significantly below the national average.
Meeting urgent needs and building resilience in 2011
Following the handover of cluster coordination responsibilities in 2010, UNICEF’s work in Uganda in 2011 will include ensuring continued coordination of cluster activities through the delegated agencies responsible for managing humanitarian response. UNICEF expects to partner closely with the Government of Uganda, other UN agencies and a host of non-governmental organizations to meet the humanitarian needs of around 732,000 people, including approximately 183,000 children.
- UNICEF will equip and train staff in 115 health facilities to identify and manage treatment of 13,000 children with severe acute malnutrition.
- Preventive and curative health services will be provided for children under age 5 and pregnant women in camps for internally displaced persons, areas of return and emergency-affected regions.
- UNICEF will support scale-up and implementation of community case management and commodity security for essential drugs so that women and children included in the 732,000 targeted caseload for 2011 are more resilient to potential emergencies. Nearly 4 million people are at risk of meningitis in Uganda, and UNICEF will help carry out national vaccination campaigns.
- 232,000 people in areas affected by drought or flooding, places experiencing outbreaks of waterborne diseases, or remaining vulnerable people in former internally displaced person camps will benefit from improved access to safe water and sanitation.
- Around 780,000 students, 50 per cent boys and 50 per cent girls, in the north and north-eastern regions and in new refugee communities will have better access to safe learning environments crucial to education and well-being.
- UNICEF will help protect and reintegrate more than 250,000 children who have returned from northern Uganda’s internally displaced community to areas of origin. UNICEF will help these children access existing social services and will respond to any violence against them.
- Potential fallout from the referendum in neighbouring Sudan is part of UNICEF’s multi-hazard preparedness plan, based on figures developed as part of the organization’s regional planning approach.
- UNICEF’s efforts to build the capacity of national partners to prepare for and respond to various types of emergencies will also remain an important focus.
Humanitarian funding at work: Highlights from 2010
In 2010, UNICEF estimated that US$27,096,711 was required to fund its humanitarian work in Uganda. As of end-October, only US$4,919,350 – 18 per cent – had been received. This limited the scope of UNICEF’s emergency activities, but significant results were achieved nonetheless. Nearly 12,000 children with severe acute malnutrition in the north and north-eastern regions received treatment. In the aftermath of landslides in eastern Uganda, UNICEF helped survivors gain access to water, sanitation and hygiene, and provided learning and other safe spaces for children. In the wake of cholera and hepatitis E outbreaks in the Karamoja region, UNICEF supported WASH-related interventions and helped communities mobilize to prevent disease from spreading. UNICEF also was able to build the protection and emergency response capacities of District Disaster Management Committees in the north and north-eastern regions by providing training in preparedness and response.
Funding requirements for 2011
In the context of reduced humanitarian focus and increased recovery programming, UNICEF is requesting US$10 million for its 2011 humanitarian work in Uganda, less than half of what was requested for 2010. Full funding will enable the organization to maximize its positive impact on the lives of children and their families at a crucial moment in Uganda’s history.
More information on achievements of 2010 and the humanitarian action planned for Uganda in 2011 can be found at www.unicef.org/hac2011.
1 United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, ‘UNHCR Operation in Uganda: Fact Sheet’, UNHCR, Kampala, 19 November 2010, p. 1.
UNICEF Emergency Needs for 2011 (in US dollars) Total $10,000,000