Food Assistance Fact Sheet - Uganda

Map of Uganda
Map of Uganda
Map of Uganda

September 30, 2018


  • Since gaining independence in 1962, Uganda has continued to provide asylum to people fleeing war and persecution in neighboring countries, especially South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia, Rwanda and Burundi. As of June 2018, approximately 1.4 million refugees and asylum-seekers had sought shelter in Uganda—the largest refugee population on the African continent—including more than 1 million South Sudanese and over 288,000 Congolese. An estimated 60 percent of these refugees are younger than 18 years of age.
  • Roughly 79,000 refugees from South Sudan and 69,000 refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo have arrived in Uganda since January 2018, according to the UN. While refugees have access to land with which to grow crops, humanitarian assistance is a significant source of food for many refugee households. In the absence of food assistance, most refugees would face Crisis (IPC 3) levels of acute food insecurity, the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) reports.*
  • FEWS NET anticipates that most Ugandan households will face Minimal (IPC 1) levels of acute food insecurity until January 2019. However, the majority of poor households in Karamoja Region are primarily relying on markets for food and will likely face Stressed (IPC 2) conditions through at least January 2019.

* The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) is a standardized tool that aims to classify the severity and magnitude of food insecurity. The IPC scale, which is comparable across countries, ranges from Minimal—IPC 1—to Famine—IPC 5. 


  • With support from USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (FFP), the UN World Food Program (WFP) distributes emergency food assistance sourced from U.S., local and regional markets to approximately 1.4 million refugees and asylum-seekers in northern and southwestern Uganda. Additionally, FFP is funding WFP to implement a biometric verification process for its food distributions, improving transparency and accountability in the refugee response operation.

  • In collaboration with Catholic Relief Services and Mercy Corps, FFP assists food-insecure Ugandans through multi-year development activities in Karamoja Region. FFP also partners with the AVSI Foundation to conduct a graduation activity reaching refugees and host community members in the southwestern district of Kamwenge. These interventions target over 700,000 individuals and aim to help extremely poor households to build new livelihoods, skills and confidence, helping to “graduate” vulnerable households to increased access to food, better governance and gender equity, improved nutrition, and self-reliance and resilience. Additionally, FFP partners with Save the Children and Innovations for Poverty Action to evaluate the graduation activity, to ensure that FFP activities are impactful, results-driven and cost-effective.

Food for Peace Contributions

Total Contributions:

  U.S. Dollars Metric Tons
Fiscal Year 2018 $116.5 million 152,288 MT
Fiscal Year 2017 $118.2 million 104,375 MT
Fiscal Year 2016 $41.4 million 36,700 MT

* Metric tonnage does not reflect funding for vouchers or cash transfers.

Country Specific Guidance

Related Resources

Last updated: October 10, 2018

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