Skip to main content

Country analysis

Uganda


Uganda hosts more than 1.5 million refugees and asylum seekers, mostly from South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The majority (92%) live in refugee settlements in Northern and Western regions. The steady influx of refugees into Uganda continued in 2022, driven by the conflict in South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. This has overstretched the available social services and facilities in refugee settlements. Refugees face high levels of food insecurity, partly because of the limited livelihood opportunities available to them.

A food insecurity crisis has also affected the Karamoja subregion in northeastern Uganda, with around 315,000 projected to face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food insecurity levels or worse between August 2022 and February 2023. Karamoja has a poverty rate of 69%, which is well above the national average of 22%. The Karamoja population has also faced several consecutive shocks, including drought (2018–2019), a locust outbreak (2019), floods (2020), and the socioeconomic impact of COVID-19 preventive measures (2020–2022).

Besides COVID-19, Uganda has faced other diseases outbreaks, including yellow fever and Ebola.

(UNHCR accessed 26/01/2023, UNHCR 29/04/2022, IPC 25/11/2022, UNICEF 04/10/2022, IFRC 27/06/2022)

Uganda hosts more than 1.5 million refugees and asylum seekers, mostly from South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The majority (92%) live in refugee settlements in Northern and Western regions. The steady influx of refugees into Uganda continued in 2022, driven by the conflict in South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. This has overstretched the available social services and facilities in refugee settlements. Refugees face high levels of food insecurity, partly because of the limited livelihood opportunities available to them.

A food insecurity crisis has also affected the Karamoja subregion in northeastern Uganda, with around 315,000 projected to face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food insecurity levels or worse between August 2022 and February 2023. Karamoja has a poverty rate of 69%, which is well above the national average of 22%. The Karamoja population has also faced several consecutive shocks, including drought (2018–2019), a locust outbreak (2019), floods (2020), and the socioeconomic impact of COVID-19 preventive measures (2020–2022).

Besides COVID-19, Uganda has faced other diseases outbreaks, including yellow fever and Ebola.

(UNHCR accessed 26/01/2023, UNHCR 29/04/2022, IPC 25/11/2022, UNICEF 04/10/2022, IFRC 27/06/2022)

Latest updates on country situation

21 May 2024

Between January–April 2024, heavy rains, floods, and landslides affected over 52,000 individuals, killing 23 people and injuring 241. The rainy season (March-May) triggered landslides and mudslides in the Elgon and Rwenzori Mountain Ranges, accompanied by floods, heavy storms, and lightning. There has been significant infrastructural damage, with over 1,720 houses destroyed, 1,400 houses damaged, and 147 water facilities, 16 schools, and eight health facilities severely affected. The most urgent needs include food, shelter, and NFI assistance. In Nakasongola district, over 200 families from 21 villages in Lwampanga subcounty and Lwampanga Town Council are stranded after losing property to fresh Lake Kyoga floods, which have destroyed over 80% of road infrastructure. According to the Uganda Red Cross, in May, flooding affected nearly 39,190 people and displaced approximately 3,000 families across 14 districts. The Uganda National Meteorological Authority forecasts continued rainfall throughout May. (OCHA 21/05/2024, Monitor 20/05/2024, IFRC/Uganda Red Cross 12/05/2024)

19 February 2024

Uganda has been experiencing a significant influx of refugees, receiving nearly 15,000 since January 2024, primarily because of conflict in neighbouring countries, including eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), South Sudan, and Sudan. Of these refugees, more than 3,000 are from the DRC alone. Uganda is one of the largest refugee-hosting nations globally, and this influx adds to the 1.6 million already hosted in the country, most of whom are from South Sudan. The surge has increased pressure on the already limited resources in the wetland and natural areas around Lake Albert. It has also placed immense strain on the Kyangwali Refugee Settlement, which is currently struggling to accommodate the growing population with limited resources. As at August 2023, the camp was housing approximately 131,000 refugees. UNHCR anticipates a further rise in refugee numbers, particularly from the DRC and Sudan, as conflicts continue to escalate throughout 2024. (UNHCR 04/08/2023, Monitor 18/02/2024, Xinhua 19/02/2024)

current crises
in Uganda


These crises have been identified through the INFORM Severity Index, a tool for measuring and comparing the severity of humanitarian crises globally.

Read more about the Index

UGA005 - Refugees

Last updated 30/05/2024


Drivers

Displacement

Crisis level

Country

Severity level

3.2 High

Access constraints

2.0

Analysis products
on Uganda

Uganda: ebola outbreak

11 November 2022

Uganda: ebola outbreak

DOCUMENT / PDF / 509 KB

On 20 September 2022, the Ugandan health authorities declared an Ebola outbreak after the confirmation of one case in Madudu subcounty of Mubende district. As at 7 November, there were 135 confirmed cases and 53 associated deaths.

Health
Uganda: Floods in Bulambuli and Butaleja

04 November 2019

Uganda: Floods in Bulambuli and Butaleja

DOCUMENT / PDF / 357 KB

Since mid-October, continuous heavy rainfall in Bulambuli and Butaleja districts near Mount Elgon, Eastern Uganda, have caused severe flooding and triggered some mudslides. At least 950 houses have been flooded, leaving more than 4,500 people in need of shelter. Critical infrastructure, including roads, bridges and schools has been damaged and/or destroyed. Some schools have been temporarily closed. Local authorities, communities and some humanitarian (I)NGOs are responding. Priority needs are shelter, food, and WASH assistance.

Natural hazards
Horn of Africa: Drought

22 July 2019

Horn of Africa: Drought

DOCUMENT / PDF / 830 KB

The Horn of Africa (including northeast Uganda) is currently experiencing a prolonged drought, largely as a result of below average precipitation from the seasonal short rains (April-July) and long rains (October-December). Prevailing dry conditions across the region have led to the deterioration of farmland and pastures, loss of livestock, sharply increased food prices, and reduction of the availability of water in these areas. 

Natural hazards
Uganda: Flooding and landslides in Bududa

18 October 2018

Uganda: Flooding and landslides in Bududa

DOCUMENT / PDF / 644 KB

12,000 people have been affected by flooding and landslides in Bukalasi and Buwali sub-counties in Bududa district since 11 October. The Bududa landslide disaster followed three days of consistent and heavy rainfall in the areas around Mount Elgon National Park in Bukalasi. 858 people have been displaced. 51 deaths have been reported. Reported humanitarian needs are shelter, food, healthcare and NFIs.

Natural hazards
Uganda: Anticipation of the Ebola Virus Disease

22 August 2018

Uganda: Anticipation of the Ebola Virus Disease

DOCUMENT / PDF / 355 KB

As of 18 August, 91 cases of Ebola and 50 deaths (CFR 54.9%) have been reported in Ituri and Nord Kivu provinces of DRC. Conflict and insecurity in both areas are aggravating the crisis and increasing the risk the disease will spread further. Conflict is hampering humanitarian access of health workers to the local population, as well as driving displacement across the border to Uganda. 

Health
View more