Uganda

UNICEF Uganda situation report Apr 2007 - External

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NORTHERN UGANDA

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 a renewal, until end-June, of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement between the Government and LRA which had expired in February. The landmark agreement and ongoing negotiations, 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 3,000 - 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)

NORTHEASTERN UGANDA

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

- 1,676 children under-5 immunized (BCG, polio, DPT+HepB-Hib, measles); 295 children, aged 6 months-14 years, provided with Vitamin A supplementation and de-worming tablets and 255 women of childbearing age vaccinated against tetanus in 15 IDP camps. [Apac & Oyam, with CESVI; Pader, with IMC]

- 7,573 children under-5 treated for common childhood illnesses, or referred to health clinics, by mobile clinic outreaches conducted by community-based health volunteers, trained and equipped with UNICEF support, in 30 IDP camps 9 sub-counties. [Oyam, with CESVI; Amuru; Kitgum & Pader, with AMREF]

- 930 severely to moderately malnourished children under-5 assisted by provision of F100 and F75 therapeutic milk, BP5 biscuits and plumpy nut to therapeutic and supplementary feeding centres. [Kitgum, with St. Joseph's Hospital; Pader, with IMC; Lira, Oyam & Apac, with Lira Hospital, MSF-Holland and PAG; Gulu & Amuru, with ACF; Moroto, with Matany Hospital]

- 7,486 pregnant women and 313 children under-5 served by the distribution of 8,417 long-lasting insecticide-treated nets (LLIN), as part of malaria prevention and control activities. [Lira, with Malaria Consortium & MSF-Holland; Amuru; Pader, with IMC; Kotido, with BSF]

- Approximately 19,900 people served by the installation of a motorised pump system and 7 borehole water-collection points in 6 IDP camps and 2 areas of IDP returns. [Amuru, with CARITAS & ACF; Kitgum, with IMC]

- 3,000 people served by repairs to 7 existing boreholes in 6 health centres. [Pader, with IMC]

- Approximately 22,000 people assisted through the installation of 439 latrines in households and health centres in 5 IDP camps and 7 areas of IDP returns. [Pader, with CPAR; Oyam, with ACF-USA]

THE RIGHT OF ALL CHILDREN TO EDUCATION

- Approximately 1,800 children, aged 3-5, served by the construction of 3 Early Childhood Development centres, providing early learning and stimulation activities. [Kitgum & Pader, with CARITAS]

- 996 pupils in 2 primary schools benefiting from the construction of new classrooms. [Kitgum & Pader, with CARITAS]

- Approximately 4,000 children served by provision of 134 tarpaulins as temporary roofing material to 8 ECD centres and 1 primary school. [Kitgum, with AVSI; Gulu & Amolatar]

- 52 Teachers College students assisted by the provision of exercise books, laundry soap, plates, cups and other supplies. [Kotido]

- 794 school-going children served by the installation of 15 latrine units in 2 primary schools. [Apac & Oyam, with ACF-USA]

CHILDREN & AIDS

- More than 360 pregnant women, testing HIV-positive in testing and counseling sessions conducted in 18 health centres, 12 antenatal clinics, 25 Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) sites and camp-based mobile outreaches, were started on Nevirapine as part of PMTCT services. [Amuru & Gulu, with Gulu University Teaching Hospital; Kitgum & Pader, with AVSI; Oyam, with CESVI; Apac & Amolatar]

- 1,040 children and young people assisted by voluntary counseling and testing services in mobile outreaches in 6 camps and 6 areas of IDP returns. [Apac, Oyam & Lira, with AIC & CESVI]

- 40 households headed by children, orphaned due to AIDS, served by home-visits to provide psychosocial counseling support. [Lira, with LICODA]

PROTECTING THE VULNERABLE

- 5 formerly abducted children reunified with their families and communities. [Gulu, with GUSCO & CPA]

- 17 formerly abducted children, already reunited with families and communities, served by provision of follow-up psychosocial counseling support. [Gulu & Kitgum, with CPA]

- 25 formerly abducted girls and women, and their 37 young children, assisted by provision of psychosocial counseling support, literacy training, life-skills education and income-generation activities. [Kitgum, with FHI]

- 45 vulnerable adolescents/young persons assisted by provision of income-generation activities. [Pader, with YSA]

- 35 child "night commuters" (31 girls) assisted by provision of basic shelter and household materials in Kitgum High School shelter site. [Kitgum, with Mothers Union]

- 5,300 IDP households, relocating closer to their original homesteads, assisted through the provision of same number of Family Kits.2 [Gulu, with NRC]

- Approximately 1,400 IDP households, affected by fire outbreaks and storm damage, assisted through the provision of same number Family Kits. [Gulu, with NRC; Pader, with AVSI, ASB & MEDAIR]

- Facilitated training in impact of conflict on children, role of military personnel in child protection, UN Security Council Resolution 1612 and related issues for 350 UPDF personnel deployed in 4 IDP camps. [Kitgum, with War Child Holland]