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Uganda
UNICEF photo: two girls smiling © UNICEF Uganda/2019/Zahara Abdul Beneficiaries of the UNICEF-supported accelerated education programme studying at Kashojwa Learning Center in Kashojwa Primary School, Isingiro District.

Uganda

In 2020, UNICEF and partners plan for:
303,256

boys and girls immunized against measles

41,899

children reached with mental health and psychosocial support services

71,853

children accessing formal or non-formal basic education

2020 requirements: US$50,119,979

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Snapshot

Total people in need: 3.48 million6
Total children (<18) in need: 2.12 million7

Total people to be reached: 2.68 million8
Total children to be reached: 1.96 million9

Uganda hosts the largest refugee population in Africa. By the end of 2020, due to ongoing conflict, poverty and food insecurity affecting Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan, Uganda will host approximately 1.3 million refugees.1 Children make up 61 per cent of the affected population. Refugee children face a range of protection concerns, including violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation. For children and women living with HIV, access to and utilization of HIV prevention, care and treatment are inadequate. In Uganda, nearly 393,000 people are in need of access to water.2 One third of all primary-level children and 70 per cent of secondary-level children are out of school.3 The health sector regularly contends with re-emerging threats, including outbreaks of cholera, measles and polio. In 2019, some 16,500 children are suffering from severe acute malnutrition (SAM).4 The impact of a potential Ebola outbreak due to the highly mobile population through the porous border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo remains significant. Adequate preparedness plans are in place to manage risk.

Humanitarian strategy

2020 programme targets [10]

Nutrition

  • 782,328 children aged 6 to 59 months received vitamin A supplementation in semester 1 and semester 2
  • 22,723 children aged 6 to 59 months affected by SAM admitted for treatment

Health

  • 303,256 boys and girls immunized against measles
  • 1,963,705 people reached with key health/education messages, including for Ebola preparedness

WASH

  • 197,000 people accessing a sufficient quantity of water of appropriate quality for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene
  • 225,100 people accessing appropriate sanitation facilities and living in environments free of open defecation

Child protection

  • 6,757 children registered as unaccompanied or separated receiving appropriate alternative care services
  • 41,899 children reached with mental health and psychosocial support services

Education

  • 46,163 children accessing formal or non-formal early childhood education/pre-primary education
  • 71,853 children accessing formal or non-formal basic education

HIV and AIDS

  • 3,948 HIV-positive children continuing to receive antiretroviral treatment
  • 1,083 HIV-positive pregnant women receiving treatment to prevent mother-to-child transmission

In 2020, UNICEF will support the implementation of durable solutions in Uganda, in line with the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework, which includes supporting the Government to provide nutrition, health, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), child protection, education and social protection services. Support to the Government for Ebola preparedness and response will continue in 2020. In line with the National Ebola Response Plan, UNICEF will focus on risk communication; infection, prevention and control through WASH; support for infant and young child feeding; as well as child protection (including mental health and psychosocial support for children). To strengthen service delivery, UNICEF will focus on decentralization, preparedness planning, capacity building and community-based support. In high-risk communities, UNICEF will apply and scale up civic engagement mechanisms, such as U-report, to promote accountability to affected populations; build linkages between communities and local governments; improve demand for and delivery of targeted protection and basic services; and guide responsive district and sub-district planning and budgeting. Gender-based violence survivor assistance and prevention interventions will be integrated into child protection programmes. Furthermore, gender-based violence risk mitigation, gender sensitivity, HIV and AIDS, conflict sensitivity and communication for development will be mainstreamed into all interventions.

Results from 2019

As of 31 August 2019, UNICEF had US$12.11 million available against the US$51.76 million appeal (25 per cent funded).5 Despite significant underfunding, UNICEF achieved results by prioritizing key activities and using its core resources. For nutrition, UNICEF prioritized SAM treatment, reaching more than 20,000 children despite chronic underfunding. In 2019, the WASH sector was also underfunded, which slowed the construction of sustainable water systems. The education sector remains underfunded, making it challenging to meet 2019 targets. To ensure a sustainable approach given underfunding, UNICEF has contributed to systems strengthening by supporting the operationalization of the education response plan. Despite low achievement against the targets, there has been progress in accelerated education for learners transitioning to formal primary education. UNICEF-supported child-friendly spaces are providing safe spaces for children to connect with friends, play, learn and foster social connections, while normalizing daily life. UNICEF also strengthened partner capacities on programming for community-based psychosocial support and case management. Following the Ebola outbreak in June, UNICEF expanded its support to Ministry of Health preparedness and response efforts, reaching nearly 580,000 people through direct interpersonal communication.

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Funding requirements

UNICEF requires US$50.1 million to realize the rights of children, adolescents and women affected by the refugee influx, communicable disease outbreaks and climate-related shocks in Uganda in 2020. This requirement is in line with the Uganda Refugee Response Plan, which includes a US$43.7 million appeal to respond to the needs of refugees. The additional US$6.29 million covers funding needs related to Ebola preparedness and response. With predictable multi-year funding, UNICEF will be able to deliver sustainable results in health, nutrition, WASH, child protection and education, and strengthen the preparedness and response capacities of communities, districts and line ministries.

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1 United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, 'Uganda Country Refugee Response Plan: January 2019 – December 2020', UNHCR, 2019.
2 This refers to refugees. WASH sector data, 2019.
3 Uwezo, 'Are our Children Learning? Uwezo learning assessment in refugee contexts in Uganda', Twaweza East Africa, Kampala, 2018. As per the Refugee Response Plan, with 197,000 new refugee arrivals anticipated by the end of 2020, another 66,571 pupils will need pre- to post-primary education services, putting a further strain on the already stretched capacities of national and district level services.
4 Uganda Health Management Information System 2/District Health Information System 2 data for January through July 2018 across Uganda.
5 Available funds include US$5.9 million received against the 2019 appeal and US$7.1 million carried forward from the previous year.
6 ‘Uganda Country Refugee Response Plan’. In the event of a worst-case scenario Ebola outbreak, an additional 2.35 million people will be in need of response interventions. The total population in need includes 51 per cent women/girls and 49 per cent men/boys, according to the 2016 census.
7 This is calculated based on children in need making up 61 per cent of refugee and host populations. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and REACH, Joint Multi-Sector Needs Assessment, 2018. In the event of a worst-case scenario Ebola outbreak, an additional 1.46 million children will be in need of response interventions. The total children in need includes 51 per cent girls and 49 per cent boys, according to the 2016 census.
8 This includes the highest coverage target of 1.9 million people targeted for communication for development interpersonal communication interventions under the health response and 782,328 children under 5 years targeted for vitamin A supplementation. In the event of a worst-case scenario Ebola outbreak, an additional 1.31 million people will be reached. In all programmes, UNICEF targets 51 per cent women/girls and 49 per cent men/boys, as per the 2016 census.
9 This includes the highest coverage target of 1.18 million children aged 5 to 17 years targeted for communication for development interpersonal communication interventions under the health response and 782,328 children under 5 years targeted for vitamin A supplementation. In the event of a worst-case scenario Ebola outbreak, an additional 537,488 children will be reached. In all programmes, UNICEF targets 51 per cent girls and 49 per cent boys, as per the 2016 census.
10 The difference/decrease in programme targets between 2019 and 2020 is due to revisions following the verification exercise conducted in 2018–2019, as well as the expectation of high returns to countries of origin in 2020.