Deteriorating conditions in South Sudan and the Congo have resulted in a massive increase in refugees arriving to Uganda since mid-2016.
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
Actions in process
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. HI works particularly for refugees 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.
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, education services to ensure schooling access for children with disabilities, and socio-economic empowerment and social protection for some of the most marginalized and vulnerable communities.
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 2020, HI Uganda has been responding to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in Uganda by providing health structural support, mental health support and reducing socio-economic impacts on vulnerable households.
Situation of the country
Uganda has a population of 47.1 million people, 21% of whom live below the poverty line.
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. Since March 2022, over 52,000 refugees have crossed the border to Uganda from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
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: 85
Date the programme opened: 2009