- Uganda is ranked 157 of 182 on the Human Development Index.
- Progress has been made in addressing the displacement situation in Northern Uganda, where almost 80% of the formerly 1.8 million IDPs have returned to their villages.
- For the nearly 400,000 persons remaining in camps in Northern and Eastern Uganda, the most pressing need is support toward attainment of durable solutions.
- An estimated two million food-insecure people across Northern and Eastern Uganda will require assistance in 2010.
- 145,000 refugees in the West Nile and southwestern regions of the country will continue to require international protection and life-sustaining humanitarian assistance in 2010.
The transition from humanitarian crisis to recovery and development in Northern and Eastern Uganda is at a critical point. Gaps in social service provision are emerging mainly as a result of insufficient impact by recovery and development, as well diminishing donor support to humanitarian assistance in Uganda. Deficient basic social services in return areas compound the vulnerability of IDP returnees regarding hunger, epidemic disease outbreaks and natural disasters. And in Karamoja, the combined effects of climate change, insecurity, and longstanding marginalization have led to the worst humanitarian indicators in the country. Given the overall improved situation in Uganda and the transition from humanitarian to recovery and development, the main coordination challenge is the handover of macro and cluster/sector specific coordination.
The transfer of coordination mechanisms to national authorities has been carried out with some success in certain areas, but inconsistent capacity has impeded a full transfer. The handover of coordination mechanisms to international recovery and development partners has also encountered similar constraints. Furthermore, while humanitarian needs have decreased in recent years – as have the humanitarian requirements of successive CAPs –two million people in Northern and Eastern Uganda continue to be in need of humanitarian assistance. And some 30 agencies and NGOs plan to implement over 100 projects within the framework of the 2010 CAP.
There is commitment from the humanitarian community to fit this effort into wider recovery and developmental efforts. OCHA plays an important role in support of leadership, resource mobilization, coordination and information sharing at national and local district level. OCHA is mandated to ensure an effective and coordinated humanitarian response to needs, and will continue to do so in 2010. Within its comparative advantage, OCHA has thus far led the policy discussion on transition of humanitarian to development action in Uganda. With the government approved “Parish Approach” (which sought early adaptation of humanitarian action towards recovery) and the “Adaptation of Clusters policy” (which has shaped the cluster specific strategies to merge into government coordination apparatus) OCHA has promoted a consistent right-sizing of humanitarian action. Similarly, having successfully advocated for the establishment of a robust DRR National Platform, OCHA Uganda has moved to further support government leadership with the recruitment of a DRR expert and an Emergency Preparedness and Response portfolio within the framework of the 2010 CAP.
This would be jointly facilitated by OCHA and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) under the auspices of the government’s DRR National Platform. In view of the potential for sudden onset emergencies, OCHA will also establish an ERF for Uganda. As a country level pooled fund for initiating rapid life-saving response and filling critical gaps, the ERF is initially pegged at $1 million and will allow for the provision of flexible, timely and predictable humanitarian funding in such emergency situations. In addition, OCHA is uniquely positioned to carry out IM and mapping services in support of humanitarian objectives. Finally, as the secretariat for the HC and the HCT, OCHA is centrally placed for facilitating information sharing and has unmatched access to relevant actors in the humanitarian and recovery arenas.
In 2010, OCHA will work with the humanitarian community in Uganda to achieve the following strategic objectives:
- Assist the Government in saving lives and alleviate suffering:
- As the basis for creating the conditions to achieve durable solutions in Acholi and Teso.
- In respect and promotion of human rights and in planning appropriate development strategies in Karamoja.
- Enhance food and nutritional security to save lives, alleviate suffering, and improve livelihoods.
- Contribute to the strengthening of district capacity for emergency preparedness and response (Hyogo Priority 5). The re-calibrated office will continue to facilitate a response equal to humanitarian needs and handover coordination responsibility.
OCHA will also monitor key indicators, including pre- and post-election security and possible humanitarian consequences of potential unrest within the region. To support these objectives and those of the 2010 CAP, OCHA Uganda will maintain the Country Office in Kampala and three sub-offices in Acholi and Karamoja sub-regions in 2010, while continuously evaluating its presence against the context in Uganda and within the region.