• Refugees continue to arrive from South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). In the reporting period, around 1,100 refugees from DRC arrived every week compared to 683 in March 2018. 5,095 new refugee arrivals from South Sudan came to Uganda in April compared to 6,397 received in March but slightly higher than 4,947 refugees received in February 2018.
• 82% of all new refugees in Uganda are women and children.
• Uganda continues to be the largest refugee hosting country in Africa with nearly 1.45 million refugees, which represents 3 per cent of Uganda’s entire population.
• A cholera outbreak was confirmed in Amudat District in Karamoja on 23 April. 46 cases have been confirmed with two deaths. UNICEF is supporting Government social mobilisation efforts and water, sanitation and hygiene interventions.
• An Oral Cholera Vaccine campaign is under way in Hoima District targeting around 370,000 people – both refugees and host population – from five affected sub-counties.
• Nearly 34,000 South Sudanese refugee children are accessing formal or non-formal basic education through ECD learning centres and adolescent learning programmes.
• UNICEF and Uganda Red Cross Society have reached over 4,000 refugees through home visits in Kyaka II settlement. Over 1,000 of those reached are children under the age of five years.
Situation Overview and Humanitarian Needs
Refugees: Uganda is home to 1,444,856 million refugees including: over 1 million from South Sudan; 276,570 from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC); approximately 40,500 from Burundi; and close to 37,100 from Somalia; among others.
As of 27 April 2018, nearly 160,000 individuals have been verified by UNHCR and the Office of the Prime Minister’s (OPM) Department of Refugees, representing 11 per cent of the estimated target of 1.4 million registered refugees. The verification exercise started on 1 March 2018 and is ongoing in the Nakivale, Imvepi, Bidibidi, Palabek and Adjumani settlements.
South Sudan refugees continue to come to Uganda with 5,095 new arrivals in April compared to 6,397 in March but slightly higher than refugees received in February 2018 totaling 4,947. All new arrivals from South Sudan are being resettled in Rhino Camp. An average of 1,100 refugees from DRC were received on a weekly basis during the month of April. According to UNHCR interagency operational update on DRC as of April 30, 2018, a total of 1,245 refugees entered the country in the week of April 24-30, 2018, a slight increase in the arrival from the previous week (17-23, 20180 where 1,034 arrived. Most of the refugees from DRC are being settled in Kyangwali and Kyaka II refugee settlements. A total of 77,429 DRC refugees have arrived since January 2018 higher than the initial planned contingency figure of 60,000 refugees.
The Government and partners are now planning for 200,000 new arrivals from DRC by the end of December 2018, compared to the 60,000 that were planned for in the last quarter of 2017. Eighty-two per cent of the newly arrived population are women and children. 277 Burundians were received at the Kabazana Reception centre in Nakivale settlement. This brings the total number of Burundians to arrive in Uganda since January 2018 to 1,286. All new arrivals from South Sudan and DRC have been granted prima facie status and biometric registration is on-going.
The Education Response Plan (ERP) for refugees and host communities was approved by the Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES). The ERP sets a strategic, planned and costed direction for strengthening education response for the next three years. UNICEF together with UNHCR have been supporting MoES to develop this plan as co-chairs of the Education Task Force. A funding modality is being explored and preparations are being made for setting up a steering committee for the ERP.
In April, a joint UNICEF and UNHCR Education cross-border mission took place with participation from Education staff from Uganda, South Sudan and Regional Offices in Yumbe and Arua Districts (Imvepi and Bidibidi Settlements respectively). The mission was carried out to assess how to ensure the most continuous, smooth, inclusive, and quality learning outcomes in the refugee-hosting context. Preliminary findings highlighted barriers and opportunities for adolescents to access the Ugandan education system. Some of the challenges include prospective secondary school students lacking documents from previous level of attainment at entry into secondary school and placement at relevant level. This challenge is exacerbated by the need to have Primary Leaving Examination Certificate at the time of registering for Senior Four exams.
In the ECD and primary levels, the main issues pertain to language of instruction and accreditation of refugee teachers, while ECD and ALP programming featured as important – but overstretched. An action plan was developed to address identified challenges.
Cholera in Amudat District: The index case was a 32-year-old female with history of traveling to Kacheliba, Kenya who reported to Amudat hospital with acute watery diarrhoea on 10 April 2018. She was referred to Matany Hospital, Napak district. The second case died on 15 April in Amudat hospital also with a history of travel to Kacheliba, Kenya. One case was laboratory confirmed with vibrio cholera. By 30 April, 46 cases had been recorded with the majority of cases coming from Loloro and Amudat sub-counties. Five per cent of all cases are children under five years. Some of the challenges identified are low staffing levels for case management; open defecation as result of low latrine coverage; a mobile population across the border with Kenya; and limited coordination by local leaders. Key challenges are managed through the national and district task force partners’ action. Details of the response including UNICEF led interventions are detailed below.
Cholera in Hoima, Kagadi and Kyegegwa Districts: A cumulative total of over 2,000 cases have been reported with 44 deaths in Hoima District. In Kyegegwa District, the cumulative number of cases stands at 132. Kagadi district has reported 78 cholera cases with zero deaths recorded. 96 per cent of the cases are newly arrived DRC refugees.
Situation reports from Kyegegwa and Hoima reported that the last discharge of a cholera case was on 22 April and 25 April respectively. This is an indication that the interventions supported by UNICEF and other partners are helping to prevent transmission. The on-going Oral Cholera Vaccine complementary campaign targeting over 360,000 people in five subcounties in Hoima district is aimed at controlling the outbreak in this district.
Anthrax Outbreak in Arua and Kween districts:
An outbreak of Anthrax disease has been confirmed in Arua and Kween districts, affecting both animals and humans. Ten and twelve cases had been reported these two districts, respectively. Due to the increased number of human cases, the National Task Force (NTF) sent a Rapid Response Team (RRT) under One health platform (MoH, Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Centre for Disease Control (CDC) and Uganda Wild Life Authority) to conduct a comprehensive assessment and identify key drivers of the outbreak. Another team was sent to Kween district – Eastern Uganda/ neigbouring Kenya, which had reported several cases. Preliminary findings from both Rapid Response Teams revealed that anthrax is associated with skinning, carrying and eating animals (dead cows) that had died suddenly.