What are the needs?
The crisis in South Sudan has triggered the displacement of almost 500 000 people to the neighbouring countries, in particular Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda.
With more than 140 000 refugees, hosting the second highest number of South Sudanese refugees in the region after Ethiopia, Uganda bares a large burden. Of the new arrivals, 86% are women and children, which creates major protection needs.
The South Sudanese crisis adds up to a difficult situation in Uganda where also Congolese refugees sought refuge after the conflict between the 'March 23 Movement' and the National Army in eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In total, there are some 170 000 Congolese refugees in Uganda.
How are we helping?
The European Commission' s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) is currently responding to the massive influx of refugees from South Sudan who settled in northern Uganda since 2013, in addition to providing support to the Congolese refugees in western Uganda who fled the violent conflict in eastern DRC.
ECHO is contributing to the construction of new refugee villages and protection of this vulnerable population through provision of basic services. In addition, ECHO is also following and responding to disease outbreaks and small scale disasters.
From 2002 to 2011, the Commission allocated over €158 million towards assisting people affected by conflict and disasters in Uganda. During this period, funds were used mainly to assist the population in the northern regions affected by the violent conflict between the government of Uganda and the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA).
Following the end of the conflict in 2011, the Commission officially closed its humanitarian office in Kampala. Nutrition activities among the Karamoja and other types of assistance were successfully handed over to the EU delegation supporting longer term programming for the country's development. This was a successful example of cooperation between humanitarian and development departments, which is supported by the EU initiative Linking relief, rehabilitation and development (LRRD).