Operation: Opération: Uganda



Latest update of camps and office locations 21  Nov  2016. By clicking on the icons on the map, additional information is displayed.

Key Figures

2016 end-year results
246,300 South Sudanese women received core-relief items, shelter kits and sanitary kits
130,600 school-age refugee children were enrolled in primary education 
18,000 refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo were submitted for resettlement
9,300 refugee business owners were trained in entrepreneurship and facilitated access to credit and financial services
767 South Sudanese SGBV survivors accessed  psychosocial counselling
2017 planning figures
176,171  registered children will be enrolled in primary education
133,027 refugees will be targeted for entrepreneurship / business skills training
100% of population will have access to national primary healthcare services

People of Concern Personnes relevant de la compétence du HCR

Increase in
2016 1,162,715
2015 694,158
2014 600,989


[["Refugees",940835],["Asylum-seekers",41880],["Others of concern",180000]]
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2016 {"categories":[2012,2013,2014,2015,2016,2017],"budget":[85.55252543,114.34654277,232.15166991,221.407173083,302.144587466,551.05180122],"expenditure":[32.51795669,39.33546118,79.64090461,62.65819847,125.32271148,null]} {"categories":[2012,2013,2014,2015,2016,2017],"p1":[85.32009705,102.66607349,228.48096459,218.337173083,302.036543216,550.85180122],"p2":[0.13242838,0.13792833,0.065,0.02,0.10804425,0.2],"p3":[null,11.54254095,3.60570532,3.05,null,null],"p4":[0.1,null,null,null,null,null]} {"categories":[2012,2013,2014,2015,2016,2017],"p1":[32.45516591,39.30495899,79.64090461,62.65402181,125.31882094,null],"p2":[0.06279078,0.03050219,null,0.00417666,0.00389054,null],"p3":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p4":[null,null,null,null,null,null]}
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  • 2014
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  • 2016
  • 2017

Working environment

Although Uganda faced an unprecedented refugee influx in 2016, it continued to welcome and generously host forcibly displaced people from the region and maintain an open-door policy.
Uganda has one of the most favorable protection environments for refugees, including freedom of movement, the right to work, own business and property, and access to public education and health services.
The Government of Uganda has made refugee hosting areas a strategic priority through the inclusion of refugees into the national development plan (NDP) and the settlement transformative agenda (STA). The United Nations Country Team (UNCT) and the World Bank are committed to supporting Government efforts to enable refugee and host communities to become self-sustaining and resilient through the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), the Refugee and Host Population Empowerment strategic framework (ReHoPE), and the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF).

Population trends

Driven largely by the crisis in neighbouring South Sudan, and to a lesser degree the influx from Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the total population of refugees and asylum seekers in Uganda attained an estimated 982,700 people in 2016. By the end of the year, Uganda hosted some 627,900 refugees from South Sudan, 221,900 from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and 44,200 from Burundi.
In the last quarter of 2016, the number of estimated refugees from South Sudan grew from 200,300 to 640,600. As insecurity and armed violence spread in South Sudan, it is foreseen that the population fleeing to Uganda will continue to rise.

Achievements and impact

South Sudan Emergency:
  • Timely and coordinated action enabled Uganda to receive, assist and settle an estimated 440,310 new refugees and asylum-seekers from South Sudan, all of whom were granted refugee status on a prima facie basis. All biometrically verified households were issued family attestation letters and individuals above 16 years of age received an individual identification card. Short birth certificates were issued to 2,710 children under 12 months.
  • Daily hot meals, medical screening and immunization were provided to all children under five years old.
  • UNHCR provided core relief items, shelter kits and sanitary kits to 246,295 women.
  • Three new settlements (Bidibidi, Palorinya and Imvepi, as well as the expansion of Rhino) were established, and 15 health facilities, 14 schools, a water treatment plant and 7,500 communal latrines were constructed.
  • A total of 767 sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) survivors received psychosocial counselling. Prevention of response to SGBV was strengthened through the installation of solar street lights, distribution of lanterns to new arrivals and women’s centers and by increasing the number of staff dedicated to SGBV issues.
  • Environmental protection was enhanced through the planting of 334,830 tree seedlings (with a 69.5 per cent survival rate).
Congolese, Rwandan, Somali, Burundian and other refugees:
  • Another 40,910 refugees and asylum seekers from the Democratic Republic of Congo sought asylum and protection in Uganda in 2016.
  • 15,821 new Burundian refugees and asylum arrived and  were settled.
  • In line with the ReHoPE framework, UNHCR and partners are working with the Government to foster economic self-reliance, resilience and integration of social services (health and education) in refugee and host communities.
  • An estimated of 9,270 business owners were trained in entrepreneurship and facilitated access to credit and financial services
  • A total of 344,380 tree seedlings were planted with a survival rate of about 62 per cent.
  • 17,396 refugee household (28 per cent) had safe access to sustainable energy, an increase by 5 per cent compared with 2015.
Refugees and asylum seekers in urban areas:
  • The refugee eligibility committee (REC), with the support of UNHCR, reviewed the applications of some 21,800 asylum seekers, of whom close to 18,800 were granted refugee status during the year.
  • With the support of UNHCR, the Government issued 582 convention travel documents (CTDs) which enhanced refugee movement and facilitated access to medical, livelihood and education opportunities.
  • The Government of Uganda undertook countrywide consultations and workshops on the development of the draft of the National Refugee Policy, with UNHCR participation. .
  • Uganda submitted the cases for a total of 18,030 refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo for resettlement, surpassing the 15,000 target set for 2012-2016. Out of these, 5,524 were submitted in 2016.

Unmet needs

  • To ensure  effective  humanitarian,  development and private sector responses, complementary service providers and supplementary resources are required to invest in the efficient and effective delivery of emergency-to-long term, self-sustaining solutions in food security, resilient livelihoods, and basic services, particularly in WASH, health and education;
  • Livelihood opportunities to reduce risk of sexual exploitation and abuse and SGBV among girls and women (who are selling food rations, CRIs and resorting to survival sex). Over 80,000 refugees and nationals are in need of targeted livelihood support including access to micro-credit and loan services, agricultural inputs, business support and training.
  • Over 25,000 refugee children need access to secondary and tertiary education, and vocational training opportunities.
  • Some 350 additional classrooms are needed for primary and secondary schools


By early November 2015, Uganda was hosting more than 507,000 refugees and asylum-seekers, the majority of whom were from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and South Sudan. Due to ongoing conflicts in the region and risks of violence, in 2016 UNHCR anticipates approximately 90,000 new arrivals – mostly from the DRC and South Sudan – and limited prospects for voluntary repatriation. The Government of Uganda receives, registers and provides identification to registered asylum-seekers and refugees; generously contributes land for housing and agriculture in areas known as settlements; and ensures safety, security and access to legal services. Registered refugees and asylum-seekers also enjoy access to public health care, education and employment opportunities.
To optimize the protection and solutions environment in Uganda, the Office is working with the Government, the UN Country Team and development partners to enable refugee and host communities to engage in an inclusive development-based economy. As a result, the operational strategy is shifting focus, from maintenance of costly humanitarian assistance operations to area-based development strategies that empower refugee and host communities to achieve a degree of socio-economic security, resilience and peaceful co-existence. This requires UNHCR to invest in building strategic partnerships with a broad range of development partners from the public, international and private sectors.
To maintain asylum and protection space in the face of likely influxes of new arrivals, UNHCR will continue to optimize opportunities for voluntary repatriation, resettlement and local integration. The Office will continue to work closely with local authorities to ensure that refugees are included in local planning and service delivery, and to promote peaceful co-existence between refugee and host communities.