Overview Uganda has embarked on a development agenda over the past two decades, with generally positive consequences for welfare and hunger. The proportion of poor people declined from nearly 39 percent in 2002/03 to about 31 percent in 2005/06, and further declined to about 23 percent in 2009/2010. In the most impoverished northern region, which includes the poorest part of Uganda, Karamoja as well as refugee settlements and the conflict-scarred Acholi region, the proportion of poor people declined from 63 percent in 2002/03 to nearly 61 percent in 2005/06, and further to slightly more than 46 percent in 2009/2010.
Despite these improvements, Uganda was ranked 161 out of 187 countries on the 2011 UNDP Human Development Index, with half the population living below the international poverty line. Also, results from a nutrition survey conducted by UNICEF, Action Contre La Faim and others in September 2011 showed that in Karamoja, some 34 percent of young children are stunted, nearly 23 percent are underweight and about nine percent are wasted.
Although food availability is not a major problem for Uganda as a whole, access to and utilisation of it are inadequate in many areas, including Karamoja. Most parts of Uganda enjoy two agricultural production seasons per year but the Karamoja region has only one season and suffers from frequent droughts and low crop yields.
WFP activities WFP has two major programmes: a Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation (PRRO) and a Country Programme.
The PRRO provides relief support to extremely vulnerable households in Karamoja - those without an able-bodied head - and refugees in the northwestern and southwestern regions of the country. Food distributions are accompanied by sensitization, especially of mothers, on proper child care, hygiene and sanitation.
Additionally, the PRRO supports acutely malnourished children in Karamoja, in refugee households and in the northern Acholi region through supplementary feeding for the moderately malnourished and therapeutic feeding, which is led by UNICEF, for the severely malnourished. WFP also supports caretakers of malnourished children.
The objective of the PRRO is to stabilize and reduce acute malnutrition among the most food-insecure populations, while responding to the immediate needs of extremely vulnerable households, and those suffering from acute malnutrition.
The Country Programme comprises a range of development activities that seek to address underlying causes of food insecurity through two priority areas: food and nutrition security and agriculture and market support.
- Food and nutrition security activities include the Karamoja Productive Assets Programme (KPAP) under the Government’s Second Northern Uganda Social Action Fund (NUSAF2), which involves communities in food/cash-for-work activities aimed at increasing incomes and access to social services. Also, the priority area involves a child-focused safety-net, which supports children from 6 months to-17 years of age in Karamoja mostly with the aim of addressing stunting. The safety-net has a mother and child health and nutrition programme, an early childhood development programme and school meals that reach all schools in Karamoja.
- Agricultural and market support puts in place systems that expand market access for smallholder farmer groups. WFP supports construction and rehabilitation of market infrastructure such as warehouses and community market access roads; training in post-harvest handling; and the purchase of small-scale farmers’ produce through the warehouse receipt system.
This year, WFP Uganda expects to assist an estimated 1.2 million people, nearly 76 percent of them through the Country Programme.