WFP Uganda Country Brief, May 2019
13,190 mt of food assistance distributed
US$ 2.6 m cash-based transfers made
US$ 55.5 m six months (June – November 2019) net funding requirements
1.3 million people assisted in May 2019
• Overview: In May 2019, WFP supported 1.3 million people in Uganda. WFP’s operations mainly focused on refugee support, with one million refugees receiving food and nutrition assistance. In Karamoja, WFP provided school meals to 160,000 school going children and implemented nutrition activities for 63,000 children aged 6-59 months and pregnant and nursing mothers. WFP also supported 26,000 smallholder farmers to access markets and participate in trainings.
• Looming drought: The poor and or delayed rainfall coupled with increasing prices of staple food continue to be of concern in Uganda. The May 2019 Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) indicates that 402,000 people are in food security crisis or worse (phase 3 or higher) in Karamoja. WFP, together with UNICEF and FAO, are developing an inter-agency response plan based on the Government’s request to provide general food assistance.
• Agent banking model: WFP Uganda signed a contract with a second financial service provider to deliver monthly cash transfers to refugees through a new model− agent banking.
Refugees will be able to withdraw cash through authorized agents, such as retail traders operating within the settlements or in the host community. The model promotes financial inclusion, increased flexibility of access for beneficiaries (in terms of both time and location) and improvements in cost efficiency. In May 2019, WFP prepared for the launch of a pilot in Nakivale settlement by sensitizing beneficiaries on agent banking procedures, training them on protection, supporting bank account opening, and conducting debit card distribution exercises. WFP aims to make the first transfers through agent banking in June 2019 to enable 3,400 households to access their food assistance entitlements through their own bank accounts.
• Ebola preparedness actions: While no Ebola case was reported in Uganda in May, the national task force (NTF) maintained the implementation of high-level preparedness actions. WFP installed five tents at newly identified points of entries in Kasese and Kisoro in Southwest to serve as screening points. WFP also provided common service transport for non-food items and engineering services to facilitate ongoing construction works of the Ebola treatment unit in Kihihi district.
• Outbreak of sickness among people in two districts in Karamoja: More than 290 people were admitted to health centres and several people died in Karamoja in March and April after allegedly consuming Super Cereal, a fortified blended food distributed by WFP. Investigations are still ongoing under the leadership of the Government to determine the root cause of the problem. To date, more than 2,400 laboratory tests have been conducted. As a precautionary measure, WFP has temporarily halted distribution of Super Cereal worldwide from one of its suppliers.
• WFP Uganda supports Government to reduce stunting: In May 2019, WFP supported a series of Government-led nutrition activities at national level aimed to reach the global target of reducing stunting rates by 40 percent by 2025. Eighty members of parliament appointed to the food security and population forum were briefed on food security policy and legal frameworks. A nutrition stakeholder mapping and capacity assessment exercise was conducted through the Office of the Prime Minister to develop a nationwide capacity strengthening roadmap. WFP, in collaboration with the national nutrition development partners group, also coordinated the development of a joint workplan that will be incorporated in the Uganda Nutrition Action Plan II (UNAP). The UNAP guides the implementation of nutrition programmes at national and subnational levels.