Uganda hosts the most refugees of all African countries, with refugees making up 3.5% of the country’s total population. HI is helping refugees to become independent and provides psychological support and rehabilitation care, whilst ensuring that all children can go to school.
Children play on swings in the newly opened settlement Omugo | © K.Petrus / HI
After suspending its operations in 2013, HI relaunched 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. We work particularly for refugees with specific needs (people with disabilities, elderly people, single mothers with children, unaccompanied children, etc.) and facilitate their access to services in the refugee settlements.
HI offers vulnerable refugees psychosocial support and mental health services – many refugees have witnessed or experienced significant trauma. We also provide physical rehabilitation care to help people with disabilities gain greater independence.
In 2019 HI Uganda began an innovative project using telemedicine and 3D printers to create orthoses (splints and braces) for refugees with injuries or disabilities.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, HI has continued to help the world’s most vulnerable people. We have adapted our interventions in more than 45 countries.
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.
Since 2016, 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 in Uganda. Uganda has since become the largest refugee-hosting country in Africa, with refugees making up 3.5% of the country’s total population of 39 million. 85% are women and 61% children.
The country has adopted a generous asylum policy but it is a challenge to ensure that vulnerable refugees have fair and equal access to humanitarian aid and essential services.
Number of HI staff members: 110
Date the programme opened: 2009