KAMPALA —The United Kingdom has announced £9 million funding to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and £2 million funding to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
This humanitarian support will provide life-saving nutrition, food assistance and protection to refugees and their host communities and to vulnerable women and children in the Karamoja region.
Uganda hosts over 1.5 million refugees, the largest refugee population in Africa. About 80% are women and children. Conflicts in the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan continue to cause forced displacement to Uganda, with more than 86,000 refugees arriving so far in 2022, stretching limited resources.
Karamoja has Uganda’s highest levels of food insecurity and malnutrition.
The current drought affecting the East Africa region has worsened the situation. More than 500,000 need food assistance, and about 100,000 children and pregnant and lactating women are acutely malnourished.
Speaking about the funding Her Excellency Kate Airey OBE, the British High Commissioner to Uganda, said “the UK applauds the longstanding partnerships with WFP and UNICEF. They have a strong record of reaching the most vulnerable with critical support in times of crisis.”
Minister of State for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees Hon Esther Anyankun stated “Refugee food rations have been dwindling as needs continue to rise, and the Karamoja region is currently battling with acute food shortages and malnutrition, especially among vulnerable women and children. This lifesaving donation will go a long way to alleviate these challenges. As Government, we are committed to working with the UK as a key development partner of our country.’’
“With food insecurity and malnutrition among children reaching critical levels, the funding UNICEF is receiving today from the UK Government is crucial. With this funding UNICEF will sustain and expand the provision of therapeutic feeding and child protection services. UNICEF thanks the Government of the United Kingdom for this timely support for vulnerable children and women in Karamoja and in refugee hosting districts” said Munir Safieldin, UNICEF’s Representative to Uganda.
Abdirahman Meygag, WFP Uganda Country Representative added “Soaring food and fuel prices are combining with unpredictable climate to push more people into poverty and hunger. With the contribution from UK, we shall be able to give food assistance to the most vulnerable – refugees and the people of Karamoja who are currently experiencing unacceptable levels of food insecurity. Giving emergency food assistance is the first step in enabling those hit by crisis get back on their feet and contribute meaningfully to their communities. With this contribution, we shall not only give general food assistance but also specifically target children under five, pregnant and breastfeeding women with malnutrition treatment. With this contribution, the fate of many children will be rewritten as we enable them to beat malnutrition, have better life outcomes, and a brighter future”