Action Against Hunger has been active in Uganda since 1980



33% of children under 5 suffer from chronic undernutrition and stunted growth in Uganda

Country Overview

Uganda continues to struggle with slow economic growth, a constant stream of refugees from conflict in neighboring South Sudan and eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, and the lingering instability of a two-decade-old struggle against the Lord’s Resistance Army, a violent opposition group that has terrorised the north. Hunger is a major issue in northern Uganda, and the prevalence of undernutrition among children routinely surpasses emergency thresholds, especially among refugee populations. An estimated 33 percent of children under five in the country suffer from chronic undernutrition and stunted growth.

In July 2016, an upsurge in hunger and conflict in South Sudan prompted an unprecedented influx of refugees into Uganda, putting an enormous strain on local resources and infrastructure. Uganda currently hosts an estimated 1 million South Sudanese refugees.

Northern Uganda, including the Karamoja region, is underdeveloped, arid, prone to drought, and suffers the country’s highest poverty rates. Karamoja has experienced three consecutive years of weak crops and food shortages. Communities have very little access to basic social services and struggle with chronic food insecurity as a result of high food prices and difficult conditions for farming, raising livestock, or earning income. Action Against Hunger is also working in northeast Uganda in the arid region of Karamoja to help small-scale farmers and pastoralist communities improve food security and income, and develop resilience to hunger.


People we helped in 2016

What we are doing

Action Against Hunger began working in Uganda in 1980 in response to a food crisis and famine conditions in the Karamoja Region. We currently have programmes in five districts in northern Uganda: Kiryandongo, Adjumani, Nwoya, Amuru and Kabong.

Action Against Hunger launched an immediate emergency response programme in Bidi Bidi, the world’s largest refugee settlement, and in nearby Adjumani to respond to the humanitarian needs of refugees in the short term, and in the longer term. We are working in partnership with UNHCR and the government of Uganda to support health centers in host communities and in refugee settlements to provide lifesaving screening and treatment for severely malnourished children, as well as educating and empowering mothers and caregivers about proper care and feeding practices to prevent malnutrition and improve child health. We are also ensuring that refugees and host communities have adequate access to safe water and sanitation. Our teams are building wells and drilling boreholes to deliver sustainable sources of clean water, and educating communities about healthy hygiene and sanitation practices. 

Violent conflict and hunger in South Sudan has forced thousands to flee to Uganda. In response, Action Against Hunger is working in a consortium led by the Danish Refugee Council to deliver emergency assistance to South Sudanese refugees in the Impevi settlement in West Nile, Uganda over a nine month period starting in July 2017. The project aims to ensure access to appropriate WASH services, higher levels of protection in settlements and to improve health, disease control and nutrition among the refugee population in the context of cuts to food rations, shortage of essential drugs and overcrowding in the settlements.

By the end of December 2017, the programme had already reached thousands in the settlement.

  • 6,510 people had been reached through routine home visits by hygiene promotors
  • 875 women and girls have taken part in a project on menstrual hygiene
  • 223 people have taken part in cooking demonstrations teaching about the speceifics of what makes a nutritious diet
  • 1,346 people have attended hand washing demonstrations, learning about the importance of hygeine


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