Food Assistance Fact Sheet - Uganda

Map of Uganda

September 30, 2019

Since gaining independence in 1962, Uganda has provided asylum to people fleeing war and persecution in neighboring countries, especially Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Eritrea, Rwanda, Somalia, and South Sudan.


  • As of September 2019, more than 1.3 million refugees and asylum-seekers—including 848,000 South Sudanese and approximately 384,000 Congolese—were sheltering in Uganda, which hosts the largest refugee population on the African continent.
  • While the Government of Uganda provides refugees with small plots of land for farming, many displaced households remain reliant on humanitarian assistance to access enough to eat.  With sustained assistance, refugees in Uganda will likely face Stressed (IPC 2) levels of acute food insecurity through January, according to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET).*
  • In the Karamoja sub-region, food security for vulnerable Ugandan households will likely improve from Crisis (IPC 3) to Stressed conditions through January, as the August-to-December harvest increases household and market food stocks, FEWS NET reports.  Additionally, June–July rainfall improved pasture and agricultural conditions sufficiently to increase income opportunities and wild food availability.

* 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 funding from USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (FFP), the UN World Food Program (WFP) distributes locally- and regionally-procured emergency food assistance to refugees and asylum-seekers in Uganda.  Purchasing food locally and in neighboring countries enables FFP to rapidly deliver food assistance to populations in need while simultaneously strengthening regional economies.
  • 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 help extremely vulnerable refugee and Ugandan host-community households in southwestern Uganda’s Kamwenge District “graduate” from conditions of food insecurity and fragile livelihoods to 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 2019 $94.4 million 97,069 MT
Fiscal Year 2018 $115.2 million 152,288 MT
Fiscal Year 2017 $118.2 million 104,375 MT

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

Country Specific Guidance

Related Resources

Last updated: November 13, 2019

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