Humanitarian Action for Children
UNICEF’s Humanitarian Action for Children appeal helps support the agency’s work as it
provides conflict- and disaster-affected children with access to water, sanitation, nutrition,
education, health and protection services. Return to main appeal page.
- Uganda continues to face multiple humanitarian challenges, including disease outbreaks, meteorological disasters and refugee influxes. In 2021, the containment measures following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic gravely affected the economic opportunities available; consequently, an estimated 15.7 million women, children and men will require humanitarian assistance in 2022.
- UNICEF plans to reach 10.9 million people with basic health services, over 51,000 children with treatment for severe acute malnutrition (SAM), 92,000 people with access to safe water, nearly 38,000 children with mental health and psychosocial support services and over 107,600 children with access to education. UNICEF intends to support over 173,000 people to safely report sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA).
- In a tight global financial situation in 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and numerous humanitarian crises around the world, UNICEF will need US$25 million to save lives and realize the rights of children, adolescents and women.
Key planned results for 2022
51,015 children admitted for treatment for severe acute malnutrition
1.8 million children and women accessing health care
3.1 million women and children accessing gender-based violence mitigation, prevention, response
2.2 million people engaged in risk communication and community engagement actions
Funding requirements for 2022
Country needs and strategy
The upsurge in COVID-19 cases in March 2021, with a rapid increase in admissions and deaths, prompted the Government to resume containment measures even though the effects on the economy and access to basic services have had a negative impact on vulnerable populations.
The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the education sector, due to school closures and limited access to alternative remote learning modalities. The phased reopening of schools enabled candidates to sit their final examinations; however, the second wave led to new school closures and an increase in learning losses affecting 15 million learners. By the end of the academic year 2020 in July 2021, 7.3 million children in lower classes (Primary 1-4) had missed nearly two academic years and likely more, with no reopening in sight. The COVID-19 lockdown triggered an increase in violence against children (VAC), particularly for girls. Sexual violence was the most reported form of VAC, making up 38.3 per cent of cases, with neglect the second highest at 35.8 per cent. Teachers have abandoned the profession and a large share of children are unlikely to return to schools even when these eventually open. The education sector is facing an unprecedented crisis.
The effects of climate change will continue to impact Uganda in 2022. More than 223,000 people were affected by drought, floods, landslides, heavy storms and fire outbreaks from January to August 2021. An estimated 20,000 people were displaced internally due to the destruction of infrastructure, risk of waterborne and climate-sensitive diseases. Natural hazards also exacerbate already high levels of food insecurity and malnutrition. The latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IFSPC) completed in 2021 classified 30 per cent of the Karamoja population in Phase 3 and above. About one quarter of children under 5 years of age in the Karamoja sub-region are stunted, and 1 child in 10 is wasted. Uganda hosts 1.5 million refugees, most of whom fled Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan due to insecurity and political instability. Of these, 84 per cent are women and children. The Government of Uganda continues to restrict cross-border movement due to COVID-19, hence the relatively low number of registered new arrivals in the country. Due to overcrowding in urban settlements, poor access to clean water and sanitation, high prevalence of undernutrition and multiple protection risks, an estimated 4.1 million refugees and host communities will need humanitarian assistance by the end of 2022.
In 2022, UNICEF will continue to work in line with the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework, support the Grand Bargain commitments and the UNICEF Uganda Country Programme Document, which includes providing vital nutrition, health, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), child protection, education and social protection services to Uganda’s most vulnerable. UNICEF is committed to needs-based targeting, hence the shift to prioritizing the needs of vulnerable people impacted by COVID-19 in 2022.
UNICEF will support district local governments to incorporate humanitarian preparedness and response into their mid-term and annual district plans and adopt the decentralized systems strengthening approach for programming for both development and emergency settings and strategies, in alignment with governments’ COVID-19 preparedness, response plan and strategies to mitigate the impact of COVID–19. In the COVID-19 context, UNICEF will ensure support to preventive health guidelines, roll-out of Government pandemic control protocols and mechanisms, safe reopening of schools, remote learning, and procure and distribute critical WASH supplies and services to schools, communities and health facilities; and build capacity to prevent disease transmission. UNICEF's nutrition programme will primarily focus on scaling up interventions with a focus on building systems for the prevention and treating of wasting and other forms of malnutrition.
To strengthen service delivery, UNICEF will focus on decentralization, scaling up preparedness planning and response, capacity building and community-based support. UNICEF will ensure that supplies reach the end-user through field teams. In high-risk communities, UNICEF will apply and scale up field monitoring to incorporate beneficiary feedback (through civil engagement mechanisms including U-Report, among others); promote accountability to affected populations (AAP) in line with the Uganda Country Office AAP strategy; build linkages between communities, ensure gender equality representing adolescent girls, women's rights and youth engagement; improve the demand for and delivery of targeted protection and basic services; and guide responsive district and sub-district planning and budgeting.
UNICEF aims at delivering integrated life-saving interventions to affected populations, including risk communication and community engagement (RCCE), infection prevention and control (IPC) and the prevention of and protection from sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) and the accountability to affected populations (AAP). UNICEF will also provide case management and continuity of essential health and HIV services, immunization, child protection and community-based psychosocial support, including referrals to specialized mental health services, education, and HIV/AIDS services.
UNICEF will mainstream gender-based violence, including risk mitigation measures and gender sensitivity, and apply a conflict sensitivity lens to all UNICEF programmes.
Humanitarian Action is at the core of UNICEF’s mandate to realize the rights of every child. This edition of Humanitarian Action for Children – UNICEF’s annual humanitarian fundraising appeal – describes the ongoing crises affecting children in Uganda; the strategies that we are using to respond to these situations; and the donor support that is essential in this response.