Uganda hosts the most refugees of all African countries, with a total of 1.3 million - including 1 million people from South Sudan. Humanity & Inclusion is helping these refugees to become independent and provides psychological support and rehabilitation care, while simultaneously conducting a census of people with disabilities and referring them to relevant services.
Children play on swings in the newly opened settlement Omugo | © K.Petrus / HI
After suspending its operations in 2013, Humanity & Inclusion relaunched a program in Uganda in the summer of 2017 to support the large numbers of refugees entering the country, most of whom had fled the conflict in South Sudan. The organisation is working to identify those with specific needs (people with disabilities, elderly people, single mothers with children, unaccompanied children, etc.) and facilitates their access to services in the refugee settlements.
Humanity & Inclusion offers vulnerable refugees psychosocial support and mental health services – many refugees have witnessed or experienced significant trauma. We also provide rehabilitation care and distributes mobility aids (crutches, wheelchairs, etc.)to help people with disabilities gain greater independence. Humanity & Inclusion coordinates with other humanitarian organisations in the settlements to make sure that the most vulnerable individuals are always taken into account.
With a population of 40 million people, 20% of whom live below the poverty line, Uganda has enjoyed a relatively stable political system since the mid-2000s, unlike most other countries in the Great Lakes region.
Uganda currently faces one of the fastest-growing refugee crisis in the world. The continuous fighting in South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, in parallel with deteriorating conditions caused by several seasons of drought in the region, has resulted in a massive increase in primarily South Sudanese and Congolese refugees arriving to Uganda since mid-2016. As of December 2017, there were a total of 1,395,146 refugees and asylum seekers in Uganda from 13 countries, Of those, 85% are women and 61% children. UNHCR estimates that Uganda is likely to host 1.8 million refugees by the end of 2018.
The country has adopted a generous asylum policy, with refugees offered freedom of movement, along with the right to work, own assets, and access education/health services. However, it is a challenge to ensure that vulnerable refugees have fair and equal access to humanitarian aid and essential services.