Since the outbreak of civil war in South Sudan in 2013, Uganda has offered a place of safety to people fleeing from the conflict. On August 17, the Government of Uganda and the UN Refugee Agency announced that the staggering threshold of 1 million South Sudanese refugees has now been reached.
Indiscriminate violence and severe food insecurity in South Sudan have left entire communities with no other option but to flee. By the end of 2017, there will be more than 2.1 million victims of this crisis seeking refuge in neighboring countries; primarily Sudan, Ethiopia and Uganda.
Uganda has become host to the highest numbers of refugees and has seen a dramatic spike in arrivals: 750,000 South Sudanese sought refuge in Uganda in the past 12 months alone.
With hundreds of people arriving every day, the scale of the humanitarian response needed is staggering and drastically underfunded.
HI will launch activities to assist new refugees in September 2017. Dany Egreteau, HI’s Emergency Response Manager, explains why this intervention, focusing on the most vulnerable refugees, is essential: “Vulnerable refugees, including older people, single women headed-families, people with disabilities, unaccompanied children (…) have specific needs in order to stay safe and healthy. They are at much higher risk of abuse, discrimination or being denied access to essential services.”
HI's actions may include food security support, psychological support to traumatized refugees, training NGO staff to better include people with disabilities and other vulnerable groups, or referral of people in need of humanitarian aid to direct to the appropriate services.