UN food agency launches $50 million aid effort for northern Uganda

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today announced that it would spend $50 million over two years on feeding hundreds of thousands of people in Uganda's volatile north.
As violent attacks by rebel groups continue unabated, tens of thousands have fled their homes to seek the shelter of temporary camps in urban centers. But in the last few weeks, the camps themselves have suffered a series of attacks in which many have been killed, homes have been destroyed, food stores burned and women and children abducted.

"We're doing everything possible to ensure that food aid continues to reach these people whose lives have been devastated by senseless violence," said Burk Oberle, WFP's Regional Manager for the Great Lakes region. "Attacks, ambushes and constant threats against aid workers in this region, make this a difficult operation, requiring us to coordinate all our movements ahead of time and deliver food under military escort. But it's critical that these people continue to receive our help."

WFP is currently feeding over 550,000 internally displaced people in Uganda, of whom 80 per cent are in the north of the country. Over the next two years, WFP will go beyond just providing emergency assistance and focus on setting up food-for-work and training programmes. These new projects will advance agricultural productivity and economic development, not only for those displaced by violence, but also for many other communities vulnerable to food shortages.