Food Assistance Fact Sheet - Uganda

Map of Uganda

April 25, 2018


  • Uganda hosts the largest population of refugees and asylum-seekers in Africa. As of March 2018, approximately 1.4 million refugees and asylum-seekers had sought shelter in Uganda, including more than 1 million South Sudanese and nearly 277,000 Congolese. An estimated 60 percent of these refugees are younger than 18 years of age.
  • To date in 2018, about 17,000 refugees from South Sudan and 67,000 refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo have arrived in Uganda, according to the UN. Following an escalation of intercommunal violence in DRC’s Ituri Province, the influx of Congolese refugees has increased substantially. In the absence of food assistance, most refugees in Uganda would face Crisis (IPC 3) levels of acute food insecurity through September, the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) reports.*
  • Abundant rainfall in early 2018 has improved pasture conditions and livestock production in Uganda, according to FEWS NET. In addition, staple food prices are near normal, facilitating access to food in markets. FEWS NET anticipates average to above-average harvests for the upcoming agricultural season. Most Ugandan households will be able to meet their basic food needs, facing Minimal (IPC 1) food insecurity through September. However, Stressed (IPC 2) levels of food insecurity will persist in parts of Uganda’s Karamoja sub-region during the same period, since many households there have consumed their food stocks and depend on market purchases to meet their daily requirements. Following the mid-2018 harvest, food security conditions in some Karamojan districts will recover and reach Minimal food insecurity. 

* 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 USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (FFP) support, the UN World Food Program (WFP) distributes emergency food assistance to approximately 1.2 million refugees and asylum-seekers in northern and southwestern Uganda. FFP’s contributions to WFP, which include both U.S. in-kind food and locally and regionally purchased food, provide vulnerable families with enough to eat.

  • In collaboration with Catholic Relief Services and Mercy Corps, FFP assists food-insecure Ugandans through multi-year development activities in Karamoja. 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 increase access to food, strengthen governance and gender equity, improve the nutritional status of children and pregnant and lactating women, and reduce the incidence of conflict through a variety of activities that support self-reliance and resilience.

Food for Peace Contributions

Total Contributions:

  U.S. Dollars Metric Tons
Fiscal Year 2018 $55.7 million 77,631 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: July 13, 2018

Share This Page