Uganda continues to face multiple humanitarian challenges, including disease outbreaks, meteorological disasters and refugee influxes. In 2021, the containment measures following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic gravely affected the economic opportunities available; consequently, an estimated 15.7 million women, children and men will require humanitarian assistance in 2022.
UNICEF plans to reach 10.9 million people with basic health services, over 51,000 children with treatment for severe acute malnutrition (SAM), 92,000 people with access to safe water, nearly 38,000 children with mental health and psychosocial support services and over 107,600 children with access to education. UNICEF intends to support over 173,000 people to safely report sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA).
In a tight global financial situation in 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and numerous humanitarian crises around the world, UNICEF will need US$25 million to save lives and realize the rights of children, adolescents and women.
KEY PLANNED TARGETS
51,015 children admitted for treatment for severe acute malnutrition
1.8 million children and women accessing health care
3.1 million women and children accessing gender-based violence mitigation, prevention, response
2.2 million people engaged in risk communication and community engagement actions
361,000 Women and children in need of nutrition assistance
15.7 million People in need of basic health services
915,000 People in need of WASH services
4.2 million Girls and boys in need of psychosocial support
7.1 million Children in need of education
HUMANITARIAN SITUATION AND NEEDS
The upsurge in COVID-19 cases in March 2021, with a rapid increase in admissions and deaths, prompted the Government to resume containment measures even though the effects on the economy and access to basic services have had a negative impact on vulnerable populations.
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the education sector, due to school closures and limited access to alternative remote learning modalities. While the phased reopening of schools enabled candidates to sit their final examinations, the second wave led to new school closures and an increase in learning losses, affecting 15 million learners. By the end of the academic year 2020 in July 2021, 7.3 million children in lower classes (Primary 1-4) had missed nearly two academic years and likely more, with no reopening in sight.11 The COVID-19 lockdown triggered an increase in violence against children (VAC), particularly for girls. Sexual violence was the most reported form of VAC, making up 38.3 per cent of cases, with neglect being the second highest at 35.8 per cent. Teachers have abandoned the profession, and a large share of children are unlikely to return to schools even when these eventually open. The education sector is facing an unprecedented crisis.
The effects of climate change will continue to impact Uganda in 2022. More than 223,000 people were affected by drought, floods, landslides, heavy storms and fire outbreaks between January and August 2021. An estimated 20,000 people were internally displaced due to the destruction of infrastructure and the risk of waterborne and climate-sensitive diseases. Natural hazards also exacerbate already high levels of food insecurity and malnutrition. The latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IFSPC) completed in 2021 classified 30 per cent of the Karamoja population in Phase 3 (crisis) and above. About one quarter of children under 5 years of age in the Karamoja sub-region are stunted, and 1 child in 10 is wasted.
Uganda hosts 1.5 million refugees, most of whom fled Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan due to insecurity and political instability. Of these, 84 per cent are women and children. The Government of Uganda continues to restrict cross-border movement due to COVID-19, hence the relatively low number of registered new arrivals in the country. Due to overcrowding in urban settlements, poor access to clean water and sanitation, high prevalence of undernutrition and multiple protection risks, an estimated 4.1 million refugees and host communities will need humanitarian assistance by the end of 2022.