© UNICEF/NYHQ2005-2020/Noorani

A girl carrying an infant passes soldiers en route to a shelter near Kitgum. Drought, flooding and displacement are affecting 1.2 million people and acute malnutrition rates among children are rising sharply.

Critical Issues for Children and Women

At least 1.2 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in Uganda. Drought and flooding in the northern, eastern and north-eastern regions, considerable internal displacement and the return of at least 300,000 Ugandans following the cessation of Lord Resistance Army activities, are leading to increases in malnutrition, abuse against children and women, school drop-out rates and in HIV prevalence.  Maternal and under-five mortality rates are worryingly high. The influx of refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Sudan also continues as conflicts go unabated in these countries; children are especially vulnerable as they make their way into Uganda in search of refuge. Periodic outbreaks of epidemic diseases, especially those linked to poor water and sanitation, and heavy rains and flooding associated with El Niño events, are also making life extremely challenging for much of the population across large areas of the country.

Planned Humanitarian Action for 2010

UNICEF through partnerships with the Government of Uganda, United Nations agencies and international and national NGOs will work to respond to the humanitarian needs of children and women among the 1.2 million people living in displaced settlements or transit camps, poorly serviced areas of the north and in the Karamoja sub-region, and in disaster-affected areas.  UNICEF will ensure access to health, nutrition and education, safe drinking water, appropriate sanitation and hygiene and protective environments for children. UNICEF will also continue to support appropriate preparedness for emergencies and to support early recovery-related interventions in line with the country’s transition from conflict to peace. Following are the expected results of UNICEF emergency interventions:

Health and Nutrition: UNICEF will provide preventive and curative health and nutrition services for an estimated 390,000 children under five and over 95,000 pregnant women in displaced camps, areas of return and emergency-affected regions, as well as paediatric AIDS care where appropriate. Up to 12,000 children under five suffering from severe acute malnutrition will receive treatment and nutrition surveillance using mobile phone SMS messaging and other rapid technology will be piloted in food-insecure areas.

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH): Up to 500,000 people in areas of return, in drought- and flood-affected regions and places experiencing waterborne diseases will have improved access to safe water supply and sanitation in line with Sphere standards through the construction and rehabilitation of water supply systems and sanitary facilities, including in schools. Hygiene practices will be promoted in all areas benefiting from WASH interventions.

Education: UNICEF will improve access to a safe learning environment for up to 750,000 pupils in the north and north-eastern regions and among refugee communities through the expansion and enhancement of safety and health in schools, community mobilization for timely enrolment and retention, establishment of schools clubs and systems that prevent, identify and address protection concerns, and through the provision of learning and teaching materials and training for teachers.

Child Protection: Approximately 230,000 children in emergency-affected areas of the north and in areas of expected displacement, where child protection mechanisms are limited or non-existent, will receive psychosocial and other forms of support. At least 1,500 children formerly associated with armed groups who have recently returned to Uganda and 1,000 unaccompanied minors from the Democratic Republic of the Congo will also have access to counselling and reintegration assistance.

HIV/AIDS: UNICEF will scale up Preventing Mother-to-Child Transmission services and 80 per cent of HIV-positive children will realize their right to HIV and AIDS care and treatment through community health outreach programmes.  UNICEF will also provide HIV test kits, antiretroviral drugs and other consumables, and continue to support the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Gender and the Uganda AIDS Commission.

Summary of UNICEF Emergency Needs to fulfil
Core Commitments for Children for 2010
Sector Humanitarian Actions US$

Actions US$

Total US$

Health and Nutrition 6,000,000 15,000,000 21000,000
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) 4,700,000 12,500,000 17,200,000
Education 7,100,000 12,500,000 19,600,000
Child Protection 1,500,000 2,000,000 3,500,000
HIV/AIDS 1,100,000 2,200,000 3,300,000
Total 20,400,000 44,200,000 64,600,000