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Uganda, 27 August 2014: ECHO provides 1.9 million euro in emergency funds to UNICEF in response to South Sudanese refugee influx

27 August 2014, KAMPALA – The European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department (ECHO) has provided a 1.9 Million Euros contribution to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to support the organization’s emergency response towards the South Sudanese refugees’ influx in Uganda.

Fighting in South Sudan, Africa’s youngest nation, has displaced about one million people since mid-December last year, and led to the outflow of asylum seekers into neighboring countries.  In Uganda alone, received over 120,000 between December 2013 and July 2014.  Of these, more than 100,000 (87% of those registered) are women and children, while over 73,000 (65%) were children under the age of 18. 

Uganda has a long history of receiving and hosting asylum seekers from South Sudan, and for those fleeing the latest outbreak of violence, the Government of Uganda (GoU) has offered refugee status on a prima facie (clear cut) basis.  The majority of refugees are being hosted in the districts of Adjumani, Arua and Kiryandongo along the Uganda-South Sudan border.

The ECHO funding will help provide access to clean water through construction of water supply systems as well as support construction of latrines and handwashing facilities.  In the area of nutrition, the project will provide life-saving support to vulnerable children and mothers through the scale up of an integrated package of nutrition interventions.  In Child Protection, it will support the establishment of community-based mechanisms to provide prevention efforts and response to child protection issues including psychosocial support to children in distress.  Over 130,000 children and women are expected to benefit from the project.

ECHO teams working in Uganda and in South Sudan remain committed to supporting the South Sudan refugees in the neighbouring countries, including in Uganda. This funding will help the most vulnerable refugees in Uganda. Isabelle d'Haudt, ECHO field expert in Uganda, underlined that “the Humanitarian community needs to support the conflict-affected refugees in dealing with the forced displacement in and outside the country, caused by the continuous violence in South Sudan.”

The UNICEF Representative in Uganda, Ms. Aida Girma, described the ECHO contribution as both significant and timely, adding that UNICEF Uganda greatly values the partnership with ECHO.  She noted that the funds would contribute significantly to ensuring that UNICEF meets its core commitments for children, to reduce morbidity and mortality, and ensure the protection and participation of the affected populations.

“UNICEF is committed to supporting children and women affected by conflict, and will continue to collaborate with the Government of Uganda and other partners to address the plight of those that have been rendered vulnerable for no fault of their own,” said Girma. 

UNICEF’s main priorities are to support the prevention of disease outbreaks such as measles and meningitis through mass vaccinations, supporting increased routine vaccination services at the district level, and to provide clean water and promote proper sanitation and hygiene practices to prevent disease outbreaks. Funding from ECHO will also support nutrition interventions such as therapeutic feeding, as well as the protection and provision of psychosocial support for children, including separated children identified through the rapid family tracing and reintegration (Rapid FTR) system.  UNICEF also supports education and early childhood learning services for both the refugee and host community children.

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UNICEF promotes the rights and well-being of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information about UNICEF visit:

About the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO)

ECHO funds relief operations for victims of natural disasters and conflicts outside the European Union.  Aid is channeled impartially, straight to victims, regardless of their race, ethnic group, religion, gender, age, nationality or political affiliation. ECHO is among UNICEF’s largest humanitarian donors.

For more information about ECHO visit:

For more information, please contact:

Jaya Murthy, Chief of Communication, UNICEF Uganda, Tel: +256 717 171 110, Email:




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