Uganda is host to refugees and asylum seekers from several countries with the majority from South Sudan (62%), the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) (29%), Burundi (3%) and Somalia (3%). They leave their countries in search of protection from several factors, mostly conflict related. By the end of February 2021, the total number of refugees and asylum-seekers in Uganda was 1,462,164, with 81% of them women and children. Most of the refugees live in settlements and host communities in the West Nile, Mid-West and South West sub-regions of Uganda. The existence of refugees and the influx of new arrival asylum-seekers into Uganda increases demand for essential services and exerts pressure on common resources in both refugee settlements and host communities. Delivery of services to both refugees and host communities not only serves to stabilize, build self-reliance and resilience to shocks, but also helps to strengthen the peaceful coexistence between the two populations. The Government of Uganda (GoU) with support of Humanitarian and Development actors (UNHCR, WFP, UNICEF, FAO, UNFPA, partner organizations et al.) provides basic services to the PoCs which include health and nutrition services, food and non-food items, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services, education, fuel, shelter, and economic inclusion.
The Government of Uganda (UBOS, MoH, OPM, MAAIF) and the Development and Humanitarian actors UNHCR, WFP, and UNICEF conducted the annual refugee Food Security and Nutrition Assessment (FSNA) to inform multi-stakeholder programming through key recommendations and to identify priority areas of intervention for the benefit of refugees and their host communities. The nutrition survey incorporates key modules on Demography, Anthropometry, Child Health, Food Security, Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF), Maternal Health and Nutrition, WASH, Mosquito Net Coverage and Mortality Rates among others.
We strongly appeal to all stakeholders involved in the study areas to use the findings of the 2020 FSNA to adequately plan for the PoCs and their hosts.
Dr Diana Atwine
Ministry of Health