UNICEF Uganda Humanitarian Situation Report - January 2018

from UN Children's Fund
Published on 31 Jan 2018

- UNICEF’s Humanitarian Appeal for Children 2018 is 20 per cent funded. UNICEF and partners will not be able to respond to the urgent needs of children and women experiencing emergency situations in 2018 if additional funding is not secured.
- Over 3,300 Congolese refugee children (1,737 girls and 1,604 boys) were immunised against measles as they crossed into Uganda from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
- During the delayed observation of the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence in Arua district, 2,00o children (1,040 girls and 960 boys) participated in discussions and peer-to-peer mentoring aimed at empowering them against child marriage, teenage pregnancies and other forms of violence against children.
- Nearly 20,000 6-23 month old children (9,202 boys and 10,018 girls) from 13 sub counties of the refugee hosting district, Yumbe, received Vitamin and Mineral Powders (VMPs).
- In January 2018, over 1,700 adults (1,410 women and 1,301 men), including persons with disability, were reached with hygiene and sanitation facilities and supplies such as tippy taps, hand washing facilities and latrines in Imvepi and Bidibidi refugee settlements in Arua and Yumbe districts, respectively.
- To enable continued quality education for refugee and host community children, 828 early child hood development centre caregivers were recruited for the first term of the 2018 school year.

Situation Overview and Humanitarian Needs

Since December 2017, there has been an influx of Congolese refugees into Uganda with 15,815 new arrivals; or 410 arriving, on average, every day). 54 percent of all new Congolese refugees are children. The refugees are fleeing renewed attacks by the Mai-Mai militia in North Kivu as well as the intertribal violence, arbitrary killings, rape, abductions and looting in Ituri. New arrivals from the DRC are being received at Kagoma reception centre, and Nyakabande and Matanda transit centres. All new arrivals have been granted prima facie status and biometric registration is on-going.

According to field reports, in January 2018, the number of South Sudanese refugees arriving in West Nile region greatly reduced to an average of 40-50 individuals per day, compared to 100 individuals per day in December 2017. Despite the ceasefire agreement signed in December 2017 between the warring parties in South Sudan, the new arrivals report that the humanitarian situation remains unpredictable and people prefer to seek refuge in Uganda. Most of the new arrivals are reported to be reuniting with family and are being settled in Omugu, Rhino camp, in Arua district.

With the closure of Yumbe hospital for a two-year refurbishment, Midigo Health Centre IV is now the main referral facility for both host communities and refugee settlements. January saw a threefold number of referrals, particularly for maternity services, with a large majority of referrals coming from refugee settlements in Yumbe. It will be a priority to support this health facility with quality health and nutrition services in the coming months.

UNICEF is part of the interagency Education in Emergencies working group that strategizes on the integration of humanitarian and development interventions in: Early Childhood Development; Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary education; Accelerated and vocational learning; and other non-formal education for refugees and host communities. UNICEF, UNHCR, education partners and donors has been supporting the Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES) to develop the Uganda Education Response Plan for Refugee and Host Communities. This national 3-year implementation plan sets out realistic and implementable targets to ensure improved learning outcomes for increasing numbers of refugee and host-community children and adolescents across Uganda. It aims to align the priorities of the education emergency response among all partners. Currently, the plan is with the government for approval.

The Ministry of Health, in partnership with Makerere University’s School of Public Health and John Hopkins University, organized a three-day workshop on Cholera prevention from January 29-31, 2018. The workshop was attended by WHO (country office and HQ), UNICEF Uganda, the Centres for Disease Control (CDC Uganda and Atlanta), the Infectious Disease Institute, Uganda Red Cross, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), members from the Global Task Force on Cholera Control (GTFCC), Save the Children and selected participants from cholera “hot spot” districts in Uganda. Research findings reflected on: cholera hotspots in Uganda; the epidemiology of cholera in fishing communities; the molecular and genetic characterization of cholera in Uganda; and Malawi’s oral cholera vaccine (OCV) implementation; among others.