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The Salvation Army International Emergency Services (IES), a department based at International Headquarters, in partnership with The Salvation Army in Uganda and other agencies in the region, have been working to provide relief to thousands of refugees and people seeking asylum in northern Uganda.
Gordon Lewis, a Salvationist from the UK, is heading up The Salvation Army's team in Uganda. Here he writes about the terrible situation he has witnessed and also about how The Salvation Army is attempting to improve the lives of people who have lost everything.
Children are suffering terribly because of the current crisis in Uganda. Hundreds of children have been killed and hundreds more forcibly abducted from their families, while many thousands have fled to the squalor but relative safety of IDP (Internally Displaced Persons) camps.
THE Salvation Army has launched an appeal to help fund its emergency response to the current humanitarian disasters in Africa. The Africa Crisis Appeal -- coordinated through International Headquarters -- will be used initially to fund relief programmes in Uganda. Any future work in Chad -- providing assistance to people fleeing Sudan -- will also be funded through the appeal.
Captain Mike McKee, Field Operations Officer for The Salvation Army's International Emergency Services team, visited Uganda, assessing how The Salvation Army can provide desperately-needed relief to some of the victims of the African country's 'forgotten' disaster. He reports here on some of the people he met whose situations represent those faced by well over a million others:
Members of The Salvation Army's International Emergency Services team on a fact-finding visit to northern Uganda have been appalled by the conditions faced by many people, particularly children. More than a million people are crammed into 188 'official' camps in northern Uganda, but basic provision of health facilities, water and sanitation are almost non-existent. Education is also severely affected, with the ratio of children to teachers being as high as 300 to one.
In a world increasingly led by media interest, the 'forgotten' crisis in Uganda continues to grow. While attention has been distracted by emergencies elsewhere, the situation in Uganda's northern districts has worsened, with increasingly terrifying rebel attacks on civilian targets and growing congestion in camps which already lack adequate sanitation facilities. The Salvation Army is determined to do more to help and is sending a team to the area to assess the need and plan its response.