Operation: Opération: Uganda



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Key Figures

2018 year-end results
374,680  school-aged refugee children were attending school
5,480  people had their cases submitted for resettlement, out of which, 4,000 departed
5,360  SGBV survivors were provided with basic counselling compared to 5,001 in 2017
1,690  semi-permanent shelters were constructed for people with specific needs
5%  of the water supply was provided through water trucking, a reduction from 23% at the beginning of 2018
2019 planning figures
100% of people of concern will be registered on an individual basis
100% of people of concern will be trained on energy saving practices
61% of primary school-aged children enrolled in primary education 
4% of people of concern identified in need of resettlement submitted for resettlement 
556,900 refugees will benefit from various types of livelihood and self-reliance activities
100 peaceful co-existence between refugees and host communities projects will be implemented 

People of Concern Personnes relevant de la compétence du HCR

Decrease in
2018 1,370,923
2017 1,575,148
2016 1,162,715


[["Refugees",1165653],["Asylum-seekers",25269],["Returned refugees",1],["Others of concern",180000]]
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2018 {"categories":[2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019],"budget":[232.15166991,221.407173083,302.144587466,551.108264853,415.20307154,386.19999993],"expenditure":[79.64090461,62.65819847,125.32271148,204.68911788,184.59756408,null]} {"categories":[2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019],"p1":[228.48096459,218.337173083,302.036543216,550.908264853,415.00307154,385.99999993],"p2":[0.065,0.02,0.10804425,0.2,0.2,0.2],"p3":[3.60570532,3.05,null,null,null,null],"p4":[null,null,null,null,null,null]} {"categories":[2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019],"p1":[79.64090461,62.65402181,125.31882094,204.67148964,184.54791916,null],"p2":[null,0.00417666,0.00389054,0.01762824,0.04964492,null],"p3":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p4":[null,null,null,null,null,null]}
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  • 2014
  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2018
  • 2019

Operational context

Throughout 2018, refugees continued to arrive to Uganda from Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and South Sudan. Uganda continued to maintain an open-door policy for forcibly displaced persons and granted prima-facie status to refugees from the DRC and South Sudan. Guided by its Refugee Coordination Model, the Government of Uganda and UNHCR coordinated the responses of over 100 partners implementing the Refugee Response Plan in the country.
Work continued under the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework, with  line ministries and development actors increasing their engagement in the refugee response. Progress has been made towards adopting a more comprehensive and inclusive approach to refugee matters in Uganda’s development agenda.

In response to allegations of corruption and fraud in the refugee response, UNHCR conducted a verification exercise of the refugee population together with the Government which provided thorough systems reviews and the strengthening of key functions and processes. UNHCR engaged closely with the Government, donors and WFP to pursue a “joint plan of action on transparency and accountability” and established a risk management function.

Population trends

Between March and October 2018, a countrywide verification exercise was conducted during which the entire refugee population was registered in the biometric identity management system (BIMS) and ProGres Version 4. By the end of December 2018, just under 3,300 people of concern were pending biometric registration compared to more than 58,200 at the end of 2017.
By the end of the year, there were 1,370,922 refugees and asylum-seekers in Uganda: including, some 1,165,653 Refugees, 25,269 Asylum-Seekers and 180,000 Others of concern to UNHCR.
Over 180,300 new arrivals were registered across the country in 2018, in addition to nearly 19,800 new births. Women and children constituted 84% of the refugee population, with children representing some 62%, 52% of the population is female, while 3% are elderly.

Key achievements

  • The launch of the “Education response plan for refugees and host communities in Uganda”, aimed at providing access to quality education for more than 567,000 refugee and host community children in Uganda, led by Ministry of Education and coordinated with key stakeholders.
  • A verification process across 30 refugee settlements for over 1.3 million refugees and asylum seekers was successfully completed.  BIMS and ProGres Version 4 were accepted by Government as tools to be used for continuous registration.
  • The physical safety and security in reception and registration places were improved through increased presence of law enforcement officials.
  • The crude mortality and under five mortality rates were maintained at 0.1 death every 1,000 people per month – below the non-emergency standard of 1:1,000 per month.
  • 47 water schemes were commissioned and implemented (bringing the total to 132), improving access to sustainable water supply systems and further reducing water trucking.
  • Projects in various sectors (WASH, environment, health, education, livelihoods and roads) benefitted host and displaced communities and resulted into improved relationships between UNHCR and local authorities and communities.

Unmet needs

  • The operation received 47% of its financial requirements in 2018.
  • Underfunding in 2018 led to limited capacity to respond to child protection and education needs; assure necessary SGBV prevention and response; environmental protection activities; as well as reduced support to host communities and permanent community infrastructure, such as schools and health centres.
  • As a result of the continuous arrival of refugees from the DRC, transit centres were congested, affecting the ability to respond to the needs of new arrivals – distribution of NFIs was limited and delays were experienced in the plot demarcation process.
  • Other sectors in the response to the DRC emergency were affected with available funds re-prioritized to respond to potential disease outbreaks. Due to outbreaks of cholera and Ebola in some refugee settlements in the DRC, in 2018 UNHCR and partners deployed resources to strengthen screening measures at entry points and expand traditional and community-based disease surveillance systems. 

Working environment

Uganda hosts an estimated 1.3 million refugees. It is Africa’s largest refugee hosting country and one of the top five worldwide. Throughout 2017, Uganda responded to three concurrent emergency influxes: South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Burundi. The profile of new arrivals is characterized by a high proportion of women and children, currently representing approximately 84 percent of the new arrivals.
The Government of Uganda continues to strengthen the refugee-hosting environment through the Settlement Transformative Agenda included in its five-year National Development Plan II (NDP II 2016-2020). The UN Country Team and the World Bank are supporting the Government of Uganda through the Refugee and Host Population Empowerment (ReHoPE) strategy, which is integrated into the UN Development Assistance Framework for Uganda (UNDAF 2016-2020). These strategic initiatives are aligned with the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) of the New York Declaration on Refugees and Migrants. Uganda was the first country to officially roll-out the CRRF.

Key priorities

In 2018, Uganda, in collaboration with the international community, with an objective of streamlining risk management within the operation intends to pursue its application of a CRRF approach in the following five areas:
  • emergency response and protection;
  • peaceful co-existence with local communities;
  • self-reliance and resilient livelihoods;                        
  • integration of social services delivery in local government systems; and
durable solutions for refugees and stateless persons.
Latest contributions
  • 17-JUL-2019
  • 16-JUL-2019
  • 11-JUL-2019
  • 10-JUL-2019
  • 08-JUL-2019
    European Union
  • Kuwait
  • 05-JUL-2019
  • 04-JUL-2019

    private donors

  • European Union
  • Japan
  • 03-JUL-2019
  • 02-JUL-2019
  • 30-JUN-2019

    private donors

  • Argentina
  • Sweden

    private donors

  • Spain
  • Oman

    private donors

  • United Arab Emirates

    private donors

  • Kuwait

    private donors

  • Saudi Arabia

    private donors