Two decades of armed conflict between the Uganda People's Defense Forces (UPDF) and the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) have perpetuated a complex humanitarian situation in northern Uganda's Acholi (Amuru, Gulu, Kitgum and Pader Districts) and Lango sub-regions (Apac, Amolatar, Dokolo, Lira and Oyam), marked by violence, poverty and the internal displacement of more than 1.5 million people. Children and women represent 80% of internally displaced persons (IDP), and have been the direct targets of attacks, sexual violence and abductions perpetuated by the LRA and others.
The reporting period witnessed continued negotiations between the Government of Uganda and LRA, following the renewal until end-June of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement. The landmark agreement and ongoing contacts, mediated by the Southern Sudan government, hold the promise of an increasingly secure environment in which return, rehabilitation and recovery would be enabled.
At the time of this report, however, neither large-scale returns of IDPs nor the official release of children and women associated with the LRA – estimated to number as high as 1,500 – has occurred. In almost all rural areas of return, assessments by humanitarian organisations indicate a stark lack of infrastructure. The right of access to essential services in health, nutrition, safe water, education, protection and shelter by the most vulnerable populations in the most disadvantaged parts of the districts remains largely unfulfilled.(1)
Humanitarian indicators in the northeastern Karamoja sub-region, comprising Abim, Kaabong, Kotido, Moroto and Nakapiripirit Districts, remain consistently lower than national averages as the sub-region continues to experience an endemic conflict involving the agro-pastoralist Karamajong population. Following the Government's resumption in May 2006 of a forced disarmament programme to address insecurity created by the illegal possession of firearms by some Karamojong members, security conditions have deteriorated particularly in parts of Kotido, Kaabong and Abim which continue to witness armed confrontations between the UPDF and Karamojong warriors. Such hostilities have had a pronounced impact of civilian casualties, internal displacement and a pattern of out-migration to neighbouring districts as well as major urban centres.
RESPONSE & IMPACT
Activities implemented during the reporting period, as part of UNICEF's humanitarian response in support of and in collaboration with the Government of Uganda, District Local Governments, sister UN agencies, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and community-based organisations, include the following:
CHILD SURVIVAL & DEVELOPMENT
5,437 children under-5 immunized (DPT+HepB-Hib, measles) in Lira Palwo, Acholibur, Puranga, Patongo and Atanga sub-counties; more than 110,000 children, aged 6 months-14 years, provided with Vitamin A supplementation and de-worming tablets; and 1,965 girls and women vaccinated against tetanus in same locations. [Pader, with IMC]
78,713 children, aged 6-59 months, provided with Vitamin A supplementation; and 192,249 children, aged 1-14 years, with de-worming tablets. [Gulu] 37,543 children, aged 6-59 months, provided with Vitamin A supplementation; and 102,783 children, aged 1-14 years, with de-worming tablets. [Amuru]
242 children under-5 immunized (BCG, polio, DPT+HepB-Hib, measles); 143 children, aged 6 months-14 years, provided with Vitamin A supplementation and de-worming tablets; and 86 girls and women vaccinated against tetanus in 9 IDP camps. [Apac & Oyam, with CESVI]
27 severely malnourished children, 6-59 months, assisted by provision of F100 and F75 therapeutic milk, and BP5 biscuits to therapeutic feeding centre (TFC). [Moroto, with Matany Hospital]
267 severely malnourished children, under-5, assisted by provision of F100 and F75 therapeutic milk, BP5 biscuits, plumpy nut, long-lasting insecticidetreated nets (ITN), blankets and other supplies to 9 TFCs and community feeding centres. [Lira, Apac & Oyam, with Lira Hospital, MSF-H, PAG & ACF]
918 children under-5 treated for common childhood illnesses, with 9 referred to health clinics, in mobile clinic outreaches conducted by communitybased health volunteers, trained and equipped with UNICEF support, in Pader and Awere sub-counties. [Pader, with AMREF]
239 children under-5 treated for common childhood illnesses in mobile clinic outreaches conducted by community-based health volunteers in 10 IDP camps. [Oyam, with CESVI]
512 pregnant women attending antenatal care facilities served by distribution of ITNs, as part of malaria prevention and control activities, in Pajule, Rakoko, Puranga, Awere, Laguti and Lukole health centres and 5th Division military hospital. [Pader, with Malaria Consortium & AVSI]
244 pregnant women served by distribution of 244 long-lasting ITNs and 80 clean-delivery kits. [Oyam, with CESVI]
12,290 households in Dure, Porogali, Atenge, Acholpii, Lapono, Ogonyo and Patongo IDP camps served by provision of water-storage equipment to increase protection against cholera and other water-borne diseases. [Pader, with PSI]
24,800 people living in transit settlements in IDP return areas of Omel Apem, Adak, Kinene, Corner Nwoya and Labong Gali assisted through installation of 86 household latrine stances, increasing person-per-stance ratio from 120:1 to 85:1. [Gulu & Amuru, with ACF]
THE RIGHT OF ALL CHILDREN TO EDUCATION
Approximately 25,000 pupils (45% girls) assisted through provision of exercise books and pens, as well as menstrual management supplies including sanitary pads and soap for 750 girls, to 77 primary schools. [Lira]
748 pupils (352 girls) benefiting from construction of 16 semi-permanent classrooms in Tegot Latoro and Omee 1 Primary Schools. [Gulu, with SCiU]
1,840 pupils (693 girls) served by provision of tarpaulins for use as temporary classroom roofing material to 6 primary schools in Wol, Puranga and Patongo sub-counties. [Pader]
120 volunteer caregivers in Opit IDP camp trained in Early Childhood Development (ECD) principles and equipped with basic teaching and recreational supplies. [Gulu, with The Salvation Army]
8,520 pupils (4,600 girls) benefiting from installation of conventional water-pump boreholes in 10 schools. [Lira, with CESVI, CPAR & COOPI]
871 pupils benefiting from installation of 5 rainwater-harvesting tanks in Kulu Otit, Got Apowoyo and Coorom Primary Schools. [Gulu & Amuru]
1,700 pupils in Keyo Primary School assisted through installation of 10 school latrine stances, increasing pupil-per-stance ratio from 85:1 to 56:1. [Amuru, with ACF]
CHILDREN & AIDS
Approximately 480 young persons assisted by voluntary counseling and testing services in Kotomor, Atenge, Acholpii, Lapono, Pader Town Council and Corner Kilak IDP camps, with clients testing HIV-positive referred to health district health facilities for treatment and care. [Pader, with PSI]
551 women and 176 children assisted by voluntary counseling and testing services conducted by mobile outreach teams, of whom 30 women and 3 children tested HIV-positive and were referred to treatment and care services. [Gulu & Amuru, with Gulu University Teaching Hospital & Health Alert Uganda]
138 women, young persons and children started on antiretroviral treatment (ART). [Lira]
52 pregnant women, testing HIV-positive in voluntary testing and counseling sessions in antenatal clinics based in 22 IDP camps, started on Nevirapine as part of Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) services. [Lira & Oyam, with CESVI]
115 pregnant women, testing HIV-positive in voluntary testing and counseling sessions, started on PMTCT services. [Gulu, with Gulu University Teaching Hospital]
125 community-based caregivers and peer-educators assisted through the provision of a bicycle each to facilitate home-based care for children, young persons and women, as well as community mobilisation and prevention activities, in 4 sub-counties and 10 IDP camps and areas of IDP returns. [Lira & Oyam, with CARITAS & LICODA]
390 households, with persons living with HIV/AIDS and other vulnerable children, benefiting from food and income-generation through operation of 3 community fish ponds and provision of 180 bee hives in Adekokwo, Apalla and Barr sub-counties. [Lira, with LICODA]
PROTECTING THE VULNERABLE
2 formerly abducted children reunified with their families and communities. [Pader, with CCF & SCiU]
7 formerly abducted children (3 girls) reunified with their families and communities. [Gulu, with GUSCO]
173 child “night commuters” assisted by provision of basic shelter and supervision in urban shelter sites. [Gulu, with Charity for Peace & Noah's Ark]
565 vulnerable adolescents (228 female) assisted by provision of training in livestock rearing and other income-generation activities. [Pader, with YSA]
26 survivors of gender-based violence referred to health and psychosocial counseling services. [Pader, with COOPI]
66 survivors of gender-based violence referred to health and psychosocial counseling services. [Gulu & Amuru, with ARC]
Facilitated training in impact of conflict on children, role of military personnel in child protection, UN Security Council Resolution 1612 and related issues for 70 UPDF personnel. [Pader]
Facilitated training in handling juvenile offenders for 328 UPDF personnel and 188 law enforcement officials. [Gulu, with SCiU]
500 people assisted through provision of 120 Family Kits, one per household, in 5 IDP camps(2). [Gulu & Amuru, with ARC]
10 vulnerable households, identified by district Child Protection Committee, assisted through provision of emergency shelter and household items including blankest, ITNs and clothing. [Pader]
FOCUS IN 2007
UNICEF's humanitarian response in 2007 is being implemented within the context of a fluid scenario with regards to the prospects for a peaceful resolution of conflict and increased security in northern Uganda, with an attendant voluntary population movement and efforts by IDPs to resettle in communities of origin. A major challenge is to sustain existing services, and rehabilitate and expand services where population movements are occurring. UNICEF has agreed with sister UN agencies and NGO partners to enhance the protection and living conditions in IDP camps and to support voluntary population movements as strategic priorities.
ACCESS & CAPACITY
UNICEF operates Zonal Offices in Gulu, Kitgum, Pader, Lira and Moroto.
COORDINATION & PARTNERSHIP
UNICEF in Uganda is the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Cluster Leader in Water and Sanitation; Leader of the Sub-Cluster in Child Protection; and chairs the Working Group on Education in Emergencies. UNICEF collaborates with WFP on emergency nutrition interventions; with WHO, UNFPA, WFP and UNAIDS on a Joint Programme for emergency health, nutrition and HIV/AIDS; and shares common-premises with UN-OCHA in Gulu and Kitgum and with WFP in Moroto.
UNICEF is grateful for all implementing partners which include the following:
Action Contre la Faim (ACF), African Medical Research Foundation (AMREF), Arbeiter-Samariter- Bund (ASB), Associazione Volontari per il Servizio Internazionale (AVSI), CARITAS, Charity for Peace, Christian Children's Fund (CCF), Concern WW, Concerned Parents Association (CPA), Cooperazione e Sviluppo Onlus (CESVI), Cooperazione Internazionale (COOPI), CUAMM, Food for the Hungry International (FHI), German Emergency Doctors (GED), Gulu Support the Children Organisation (GUSCO), Human Rights Focus (HURIFO), Institute of Teacher Education Kyambogo (ITEK), International Medical Corps (IMC), International Rescue Committee (IRC), Kalongo Hospital, Kitgum Concerned Women's Association (KICWA), Lacor Hospital Gulu, Malaria Consortium, Medair, Médecins sans Frontières (MSF), Mother's Union, Noah's Ark, Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), OXFAM, Rachele Centre, The AIDS Support Organisation (TASO), The Salvation Army, Save the Children in Uganda, St. Joseph's Hospital Kitgum, Transcultural Psychosocial Organisation (TPO), The Kids League (TKL), Warchild Holland and World Vision.
(1) See map, below.
(2) Each Kit contains 2 blankets, 1 saucepan, 1 ladle, 2 aluminum cups, 1 tarpaulin, 1 collapsible 10 liter jerry can, 1 bar of soap, 1 knife, 4 spoons and 4 metallic plates.
For more information, please contact:
UNICEF Uganda Country Office
PO Box 7047, Kampala, Uganda
+256 41 346 975/6