Mid-Year Review of the Consolidated Appeal for Uganda 2007
Increased security in the North due to the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement (CoHA) has accelerated the movement out of camps, although the majority, approximately one million IDPs, still remain in 120 camps waiting for more consistent signals that the conflict is over and they can safely go home.
In Acholi, approximately 321,000 persons have moved to 334 new settlement areas, mostly settling in their parish of origin where they have better access to cultivable land. In most of the new sites there is an appalling lack of social services that threatens the prospects for lasting stability for the inhabitants. Furthermore, the absence of schools and health facilities in the new sites forces families to adopt a pattern of commuting to the old camp which precipitates family separation exposing women and children to increased risks, including Gender Based Violence (GBV) and other forms of abuse and exploitation.
In Lira, Oyam and Apac more than 388,000 IDPs are now permanently resettledin their original homesteads and facing the challenge of rebuilding their lives and livelihoods. A survey conducted by Action against Hunger (ACF) shows that in Lira, where 83% of the population has returned, the prevalence of GAM has increased from last year and the mortality rate is higher than in the Acholi districts. Preliminary findings of a need assessment conducted in May 2007 indicate that there are critical gaps in access to water, education, health and protection services in new sites and in return areas. This is largely due to a breakdown of facilities, inadequate staffing and staff absenteeism.
In Katakwi and Amuria, approximately 28,000 IDPs have moved into new sites and more than 110,000 remain in campswith rising fear of incursions of illegally armed Karimojong. For the majority of people in camps and in new sites, access to their fields is limited to less than four kilometre radius and to less than four hours per day.
In Karamoja there is a high sense of insecurity, combined with a continuing deterioration of humanitarian and socio-economic indicators. The killing of a World Food Programme (WFP) worker after food distribution in one of the most food insecure areas, illustrates the gravity of the security threat. While the involuntary disarmament programme continues, it has not yet been accompanied by visible, significant investment. Disarmament operations continue to trigger human rights abuses, although community cooperation with Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) appears to be improving in some districts. Rainfall has been late and inconsistent, causing fears of another poor harvest this year.
The humanitarian operation for IDPs faces a triple challenge for the remainder of the year:
- Continue assisting IDPs in camps prioritising maintenance of services and improvement in camp management;
- Enhance actions in the new sites by adopting an approach based on the catchment’s area of the parish in which the new site is situated;
- Step up the recovery efforts for both return and transit areas.
Overall, there is an obligation on the part of the humanitarian community to build a response that corresponds to the needs on the ground. This requires improved assistance and protection in the underserved eastern districts, including Teso sub-region (particularly Katakwi and Amuria) and the entire Karamoja sub-region. On a positive note, the humanitarian situation is stabilising in Acholi camps, where the clusters have benefited from enhanced security to expand their coverage and improve humanitarian response. However, there is growing concern about the humanitarian situation in transit and return areas in eastern Teso and Karamoja. In these areas, most of the clusters have not yet expanded their activities, and food scarcity as well as an absence of basic services, are evident.
With the CAP 2007 funded at 54% of the revised funding requirements, the international community is demonstrating commitment to the ongoing humanitarian and human rights effort aimed at helping the people worst affected by conflict and violence. The Government should be encouraged to commit more resources and to boost recovery and development efforts in the northern and north eastern districts.
The increase in the 2007 CAP's overall requirements (from $296 million to $318 million) mostly reflects the retroactive counting of funded projects not originally counted in the CAP. A total of $172 million has been contributed or committed to date, leaving the total unmet requirements at $145 million.
In Pader District, through rapid assessments conducted during April in 11 sub-counties, 452 children (266 boys, 186 girls) were identified as left behind in mother camps, while caregivers had temporarily moved to transit/return sites. Main protection concerns identified by communities include: sexual abuse and exploitation, engagement in risky behaviors, dropping out from school to cater for household chores and caring for younger siblings.
Action Contre la Faim.