UNICEF photo: children playing on playground equipment © UNICEF Uganda/2016/ Irene Nabisere


In 2016, UNICEF and partners plan for:

children under 5 years with SAM admitted to treatment programmes


people (including 109,000 children) provided with access to at least 15 litres of clean water per person per day


unaccompanied and/or separated children received family tracing and reunification support and placement in interim/foster care

2016 Requirements: US$22,700,000

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Total affected population: 1,490,000
Total affected children: 953,600i

Total people to be reached in 2016: 451,656ii
Total children to be reached in 2016: 310,656iii

Uganda hosts more than 680,000 refugees and asylum-seekers as of September 2016, of which more than 222,650 are Congolese and almost 41,000 Burundian. Uganda currently hosts the largest number of South Sudanese refugees, with over 418,900 of which more than 184,000 arrived since the recent escalation of violence in Juba in July. Potential and ongoing violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and in South Sudan will most likely lead to further displacement and movement of people into Uganda. Children comprise around 68 per cent of the new refugee arrivals from South Sudan. Among the child arrivals are unaccompanied minors and other vulnerable children affected by the conflict who face further protection risks. Primary health care services are overstretched due to the expanding South Sudanese refugee population. Community water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services are strained and below Sphere standards (15 litres/per person/per day), with limited WASH availability in some schools. In some settlements affected by refugee influx, severe acute malnutrition (SAM) rates range from 3 to 4.5 per cent. Access to formal and non-formal post primary education remains a critical need. Uganda has also had to respond to multiple disease outbreaks throughout the year, including malaria, cholera, yellow fever and rift valley fever. El Niño has also brought above average rains at the start of 2016 resulting in floods that have increased the vulnerability of children and adolescents due to displacement, disease outbreaks and the interruption of critical social services such as health and education.

Humanitarian strategy

2016 Programme Targets


  • 12,000 children under 5 years with SAM admitted to treatment programmes
  • 200,000 children aged 6 to 59 months received vitamin A supplementation

Health and HIV/AIDS

  • 163,382 children immunized against polio
  • 222,340 children immunized against measles
  • 6,287 children/adolescents provided with continuation of ante-retroviral therapy
  • 4,229 HIV positive pregnant women receive ART to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV in humanitarian situations


  • 250,000 people (including 109,000 children) provided with access to at least 15 litres of clean water per person per day
  • 251,980 people provided with hand washing facilities

Child Protection

  • 90,000 children benefitted from child protection services
  • 10,000 unaccompanied and/or separated children received family tracing and reunification support and placement in interim/foster care


  • 69,160 children accessed early childhood development services
  • 110,656 adolescents accessed formal or informal education

UNICEF and partners are focussing on providing life-saving humanitarian support while strengthening existing national, district and local level operational systems on three major fronts: 1) the influx of refugees from the DRC and Burundi; 2) South Sudanese refugee influx; and 3) disease outbreaks of malaria, cholera, Rift Valley and yellow fever. UNICEF, in coordination with the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) and UNHCR, has recently scaled up to respond to the urgent needs of newly displaced women, adolescents and children, particularly the needs of over 180,000 new South Sudanese refugees. UNICEF is supporting skills-based education and mentoring for adolescents in collaboration with their communities. Refugees are being integrated into host communities and are benefitting from access to the same basic services as nationals. UNICEF supports the Refugee and Host Population Empowerment (ReHoPE) approach endorsed by the United Nations Country Team, and is mainstreaming gender, HIV and AIDS and conflict-sensitive approaches into emergency programing. UNICEF also employs a systems-strengthening approach, building the adaptive and response capacity of affected districts. UNICEF continues to support the government’s emergency preparedness and response to mitigate the effects of additional refugee influx and disease outbreaks. UNICEF utilizes Communication for Development (C4D) as a cross-cutting approach to achieving programme results in all sectors.

Results to date (January to September 2016)

To date, UNICEF funds available include US$8.2 million received for the current appeal as well as US$2.1 million carried forward from 2015. With available funding, UNICEF and partners assisted the government in providing a safe environment for refugee children, and over 65,000 children have benefited this year from child protection services, including over 9,600 unaccompanied and/or separated children who have received family tracing and reunification support and placement in interim/foster care. More than 22,500 children have accessed early childhood development services despite inadequate funding. Micronutrient supplementation and maternal nutrition counselling in districts affected by refugee influx has protected the nutrition status of almost 160,000 children this year. In addition to the switch in vaccines used to eradicate Polio, immunization campaigns supported by UNICEF reached 93,500 children. Continued engagement in social mobilization and provision of supplies supported the containment of malaria as well as cholera throughout the year. Significant gaps in access to basic services are still evident particularly amongst the newest refugee arrivals from South Sudan and amongst Congolese refugees as well as in resource provisions especially for education for all children affected by emergencies in the country.

Funding requirements

In line with the interagency 2016 Regional Refugee Response Plan (RRRP) for the Burundi Situationiv and the Revised RRRP for South Sudanv as well as the national contingency plan for El Niño and the national disease outbreak preparedness arrangements, UNICEF has revised its funding requirement from US$14.4 million to US$ 22.7 million to meet the humanitarian needs of children in Uganda in 2016. Without adequate funding, UNICEF and partners will not be able to keep affected children and adolescents alive, thriving, safe and learning. Funding will contribute to critical services for women, men and children displaced by the effects of El Niño, those facing the risk of disease outbreaks, and refugees and their host communities.

i Total affected children - estimated on the assumption of 64% children amongst the refugees from South Sudan, Burundi and DRC, cases of people affected by Cholera, Malaria and other disease outbreaks and people affected by flooding. (Source: Uganda Census 2014, OPM and UNHCR Refugee statistics).
ii 451,656 people was calculated by adding 141,000 adults which is included in UNICEF’s WASH target and 310,656 children which is UNICEF’s children target (see calculation below).
iii 310,656 children was calculated by adding UNICEF’s nutrition target of 200,000 U5’s and UNICEF’s education target of 110,656 adolescents.