Internally displaced persons (IDPs) in northern Uganda and the drought affected population in Karamoja remain food insecure and mainly reliant on the feeding program implemented by the World Food Programme (WFP). Civil stability and increasing access to land and agricultural inputs in northern Uganda over the next twelve months are crucial to the self sufficiency and food security of the IDPs. As rains begin in Karamoja, a normal season is imperative to avert a prolonged need for assistance in the region. The WFP is seeking additional funding to bridge an over 66,000 MT deficit in food supplies, between May and December 2007, to its pipeline catering for needs of IDPs, drought affected and other target populations. Any increased needs assessed in June will place more demands on already stretched pipeline. Pest des Petits Ruminants (PPR), a viral disease affecting sheep and goats, remains rampant in Karamoja with no known controls established; the disease has reduced the size of household’s small ruminant herds, increasing their susceptibility to food insecurity.
After a delayed start to the season, followed by poor distribution of rainfall in April, the rains were established but remained patchy in many locations. These recent rains have helped farmers in bimodal areas tend crops, benefiting cereals and pulses in critical growth stages and raising harvest prospects. Most of the cereals are tasselling or forming cobs/heads and require rains through June to enable normal harvests that should begin in late June.