UNICEF Uganda Humanitarian Situation Report - May 2018

from UN Children's Fund
Published on 31 May 2018


  • The number of new arrivals from South Sudan increased to a daily average of 245 arrivals in May 2018, compared to 170 in April. In addition, around 1,000 refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) continue to arrive in Uganda every week.

  • Sixty per cent of all new refugees are children, many of whom have experienced violence, abuse, exploitation, family separation and psychological distress. By the end of April 2018, 82,660 refugee children from South Sudan were registered to receive psychosocial support, including reconnecting children with family members.

  • The cholera outbreak in Hoima, Kyegegwa and Kagadi districts has been contained with no new cases reported in the last three weeks. In partnership with the Uganda Red Cross, UNICEF ensured that over 12,000 people in the Kyaka II refugee settlement were reached with hygiene promotion messages.

  • UNICEF and partners are working with the Government to strengthen preparedness efforts given the high risk of transmission of the Ebola virus from the DRC.

Situation Overview and Humanitarian Needs

Refugees: Uganda is home to over 1,460,000 refugees including: over 1 million from South Sudan; 285,000 from DRC; over 40,000 from Burundi; and well over 35,000 from Somalia; among others. The number of new arrivals from South Sudan increased to an average of 245 arrivals every day in May, compared to 170 in April. In addition, around 1,000 refugees from the DRC continue to arrive in Uganda every week. All new arrivals from South Sudan and DRC have been granted prima facie status and biometric registration is ongoing. Eighty-two per cent of the newly arrived population in 2018 are women and children. In an ongoing verification exercise by the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) and UNHCR, 272,642 refugees have been verified, which represent 19 per cent of the overall registered refugee population. Verification has been concluded in Oruchinga, Lobule, Imvepi, Nakivale and Palabek settlements. The exercise is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2018.

The chapter on DRC refugees in the Uganda Integrated Refugee Response Plan is under review, with the planning scenario being revised to target 150,000 new arrivals by the end of 2018 up from the 60,000 that were originally planned for.

Nearly 200 Burundian refugees, reporting forced participation in the referendum to amend the constitution of the Presidential term limit, crossed into Uganda during the month of May. The new arrivals are undergoing an assessment by OPM to determine their refugee status.

Led by the National Curriculum Development Centre (NCDC), UNICEF is participating in a process to harmonize the national standards of the Accelerated Learning Programme (ALP). The programme aims at enrolling out-of-school children for a catch-up learning programme to enable them to continue age-appropriate learning in the formal education system. A multi-stage curriculum review process has taken place under the leadership of NCDC and Norwegian Refugee Council. Once completed, a new framework will guide and harmonize the approaches used by ALP partners in the humanitarian response.

Disease Outbreaks:

Cholera: No new cholera cases have been reported in Western and Eastern Uganda in the last three weeks. Ministry of Health (MoH), UNICEF and other partners have been responding to cholera outbreaks in the other districts of Amudat, Kampala, Tororo and Busia. The outbreak in Amudat was associated with cross border transmission from North Western Kenya where an outbreak has been ongoing since January 2018. As of the end of May, a total of 2,428 cases are being reported with 49 deaths (case fatality rate of 2 per cent)

Anthrax Outbreak:

As of 23 May, a total of 83 suspected human cases of anthrax with zero deaths have been reported from four districts - Kiruhura, Zombo, in addition to Kween and Aru, since the beginning of the outbreak in February 2018. Following a comprehensive assessment to identify the key drivers of the outbreak, the MoH and the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) are communicating to all District leadership on the identification of suspected cases, the management, collection and transportation of Anthrax samples and the safe disposal of dead animals.

Ebola Preparedness:

Following the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in DRC, MoH and partners, including UNICEF, are coordinating preparedness activities and have heightened screening for Ebola at all border entry points. Uganda has a high risk of importing EVD as thousands of DRC refugees continue to flee to Uganda and the country will host thousands of pilgrims at the Uganda Martyrs Shrine from June 1-3, some of whom come from as far as DRC, Tanzania, Kenya and Nigeria. The 2014 EVD contingency plan is being updated to include all districts neighboring DRC, Kampala and Wakiso. The World Health Organization (WHO) has sent Personnel Protective Equipment (PPEs) to all 14 Regional Referral Hospitals (RRH).