Uganda has a long history of providing asylum and has hosted an average of 168,000 refugees per year since 1961. As of 1 November 2016, UNHCR reported close to 900,000 refugees and asylum seekers in the country; making Uganda the third largest refugee-hosting country in Africa and eighth largest refugee-hosting country in the world. In 2016, the UN, World Bank, the Government of Uganda, development partners and the private sector have launched a joint five-year self-reliance and resilience strategy targeting both refugee and host communities in Uganda’s nine refuge hosting districts. The refugee population is mostly composed of South Sudanese (53%) and Congolese (30%), with a projected 10,000 refugees expected to arrive from Burundi by the end of 2016 (UNHCR). Uganda is currently one of four countries involved in the Inter-Agency Regional Refugee Response Plan (RRRP) for the South Sudan situation (totalling US$701 million) as well as one of the six countries involved in an inter agency regional Refugee Response Plan (RRP) for Burundi (totalling US$181 million).
The extremely long dry spell and delayed rains in 2016 have led to increased food insecurity in the northeastern Karamoja sub-region which has only one season in the year compared to the rest of the country. As a result most households have already depleted their food stocks (from the Aug-Sept harvest). Between July and November 2016, IPC reported about 390,000 people were in Crisis and Emergency (IPC Phase 3 and 4) food insecurity; 200,000 people of which are being supported by humanitarian assistance, while the rest are relying heavily on markets. Approximately 82 per cent of Karamoja’s population live in absolute poverty compared to the national average of 31 per cent and the global acute malnutrition rate is 11 per cent versus a national average of 6 per cent (Source: IGAD Karamoja Resilience Context Analysis 2015). Disease epidemics remain a key risk in the Karamoja region due to limited coverage of basic services.
Despite high levels of public discontent following the disputed presidential Elections of 18 February 2016, tensions are unlikely to result in any significant level of insecurity within the country. The country continues to enjoy relative peace but a number of security risks remain, including spillover of conflict in the region, notably South Sudan, DRC, Somalia, and violence from inter-communal tensions. Recent clashes between Government forces and the Rwenzururu Kingdom (one of the minority ethnic groups with a long history of struggling for recognition) in Western Uganda, left a reported 126 people dead.
Uganda contributes troops to AMISOM in Somalia and therefore remains an Al-Shabaab target.
(UPDATED: December 2016)