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.