Humanitarians have been working for decades to assist Uganda in times of crisis. From political to social and environmental issues, residents of Uganda have seen foreign aid change the lives of many citizens in the country.

With a steadily increasing population, foreign aid in Uganda allows people in the country — who may otherwise be overlooked — to have better accessibility to the resources they need.


Uganda has a steadily increasing population, which is commonly seen in countries affected by poverty. This increase occurs because families tend to have more children to support the family as they get older, and is often an indicator of the amount of foreign aid that is needed. In 1960, according to the World Bank Group, Uganda had a population of 6,788,241 people; between 1960 and 2016, the population rose to 41,487,965.

According to Irish Aid, 38 percent of people in Uganda live on $1.25 per day. In addition, the Human Rights Watch World Report of 2017 explains that Uganda faces many issues as far as freedoms for protesters, media officials and several forms of identity including associations people make between themselves and social organizations.

One way foreign aid in Uganda assists people is by allowing them to gain more autonomy over their lives. Better access to healthcare and improved living conditions results in more power and strength of citizens.


USAID has been influential as far as the versatile kinds of aid the organization has offered to Uganda over the last few years. One of the forms of aid offered was assisting refugees during the Northern Uganda War.

According to USAID, 1.8 million people were displaced. Due to the foreign assistance that USAID was able to provide the organization states that, “Since 2007, all internally displaced people have returned home. USAID also assisted war-affected children and unemployed youth with tools and access to training to gain better access to income-generating activities.”

Economic Health

The Department of Foreign Affairs Irish Aid (for Uganda) recognizes the importance of agriculture to the health of economy in Uganda. Although improvements have been made as far as health and economic stability, the organization recognizes that the country could still benefit from improvement, especially as far as equal industrial opportunity:

Most people live in rural areas and make their living from agriculture. Although Uganda has had consistently high economic growth rates and a strong record in the response to HIV and AIDS, it has struggled to ensure that all its citizens benefit equally.”

USAID has also been influential in improving the health of the economy which, according to the organization, has increased jobs for women who make up the majority of the farming population in Uganda: USAID helped Uganda diversify their traditional crops from coffee, cotton and tea to non-traditional crops such as flowers.”

The efforts of organizations contributing to foreign aid in Uganda make a difference in improving economic stability and opportunity.


Healthcare is an important component of foreign aid in Uganda in numerous ways. Not only are healthcare officials able to assist refugees, but in times of political crisis, healthcare workers are able to save the lives of people who are affected by brutality and force; in Uganda, brutality is a reality that many people face.

According to the Human Rights Watch 2017 Report, the Lord’s Resistance Army’s leader “is charged with 70 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity as part of attacks on internally displaced persons’ camps, including murder, enslavement, sexual and gender-based crimes, and the conscription of child soldiers.”

Although the government is working to address these crimes by holding leaders accountable under law, many people were still affected by this leader’s brutality before he was called for trial.

Healthcare workers and access to healthcare gives people a way to combat and bounce back from some of the brutality they fight against every day. USAID has also been influential in improving the healthcare available to people living in Uganda, including providing tools to combat insects, malaria and HIV/AIDS.

– Gabriella Evans

Photo: Flickr

Humanitarian Aid to UgandaUganda is hosting over 1 million refugees. Thanks to its progressive solutions and open policies, the country, located in East Africa, has welcomed people from Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan. In 2017, the refugee population dramatically changed: close to 900,000 South Sudanese fled to Uganda seeking peace. This year, Uganda became host to the largest refugee camp in the world. Bidi Bidi is home to 270,000 refugees and is expected to get even more arrivals in December 2017. For that reason, humanitarian aid to Uganda has become essential to assuring that refugees’ needs are met. This includes shelter, healthcare and education.

Women and Children

Around 86 percent of the 900,000 South Sudanese refugees in Uganda are women and children. The U.N. Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has provided different projects helping these groups. In 2016, 264,300 South Sudanese women received core-relief items, shelter kits and sanitary kits.

In addition, the international organization imparted help with Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) issues. The UNHCR aided 767 South Sudanese SGBV survivors to access psychosocial counseling.

Increasing Access to Education

Classes are difficult to hold in refugee camps, as most of the time there are not enough facilities and teachers. In Bidi Bidi, there are 5,000 students and only 38 teachers. Despite that, 130,600 school-age refugee children were enrolled in primary education. By the end of 2017, it is expected that 176,171 children will be registered.

Other educational efforts are being in Uganda’s Coburwas Primary School. One program ensures that refugee students receive food. Outside of the classroom, students learn how to farm, an activity that brings money to the school.

Health and Humanitarian Aid to Uganda

Humanitarian aid to Uganda has had large success in addressing health issues. It is expected that 100 percent of the people of concern, specifically refugees, will have access to national primary healthcare services in 2017. In addition, health organizations such as the Real Medicine Foundation (RMF), are developing projects in refugee camps. The RMF currently operates 30 health centers in Bidi Bidi.

Economic Improvements

Finally, the UNHCR implemented a project to improve refugees’ economic situation. The organization trained 9,300 refugee business owners in entrepreneurship and all of them received access to credit and financial services.

Humanitarian aid to Uganda is increasing as the refugee population grows. Uganda has one of the most progressive refugee policies in the world, but in order to ensure improved living standards for refugees, there is a need for continued contributions of humanitarian aid.

– Dario Ledesma

Photo: Flickr