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Cordaid NL


Some annual results

  • 9,000,000people reached through COVID-19 awareness raising and prevention activities
  • 50primary schools contracted for performance based financing
  • 21,679households provided with livelihood support in response to COVID-19
  • 211jobs created by small and medium-sized enterprises

Global Peace Index

117/ 163

GPI Rank

Political Instability

Safety & Security

Ongoing Conflict

Source: Global Peace Index (2020)

Country Office

Uganda flag Kampala, Uganda

Plot 12B Farady Road
Bugolobi, Nakawa Division
Next to MUBS Annex Bugolobi
The Uganda office is the seat of our East and South Africa Cluster.

Country Manager Uganda and Director of the East and South Africa Cluster

Heleen van der Beek

Cordaid in Uganda

Cordaid has been active in Uganda for over 25 years. Our programmes in the East African country focus on humanitarian aid and development, health care, and education system strengthening, as well as on food security and economic empowerment.

After Cordaid and ICCO joined forces in January 2021, the Uganda office also hosts our regional office for Rwanda, Kenya, and Zimbabwe. ICCO’s experience and extensive track record in food security, nutrition, and livelihoods complement our existing Cordaid programming.

Read more about Cordaid in Uganda

Where does Cordaid work?

In eastern Uganda, Cordaid implements systems strengthening projects for equitable access to quality basic services in health, education, peace, and justice in the districts of Kamuli, Bukwo, Budaka, Namayingo, Iganga and Kalangala, and northern Uganda, districts of Arua, Terego Adjumani and Yumbe.

In the districts of Bugiri, Mayuge, Iganga and Namayingo Mbale, Budaka, Bukwo, and Kween, as well as in Central Uganda Kalangala, we work on integrated sexual and reproductive health and rights.

In the West Nile Region districts of Arua, Adjumani and Yumbe, we implement a pilot project testing approaches for integrating mental health and psychosocial support across Cordaid’s thematic programme areas.

In the Central, North and West Nile regions, we work on empowering projects that support low-income farmers and producer organisations to increase economic opportunities improving and sustaining their livelihoods.

47,1 Million


Rural population

Urban population

4.6% annual

GDP growth

21.4 per 1,000

Mortality rate, neonatal


Current situation

Home to 45 million people, Uganda has one of the youngest populations in the world, with 78% under the age of 30. This represents significant development potential which, if left untapped, could become a major development challenge. Today, unemployment stands at 9.2%. Agriculture is the backbone of the Ugandan economy; however, the sector is characterised by low productivity, which contributes to income volatility and stagnation. Extreme weather events leading to disasters such as floods, droughts, and landslides have increased over the last 30 years and affect the livelihoods of people.

Uganda's refugee policy is one of the most progressive in the world with refugees having access to social services, land, and jobs. However, the continued influx coupled with limited resources is also placing tremendous pressure on existing amenities and straining the delivery of services in host communities. The country hosts one of the largest number of refugees and asylum seekers in the world, standing at 1,437,000 as of February 2020. The majority comes from South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Burundi, with others coming from Somalia, Rwanda, Eritrea, Sudan, and Ethiopia. Refugees face challenges related to food insecurity, malnutrition, limited access to water, sanitation, livelihood opportunities, and health care including sexual reproductive health and rights. Young women and girls are left to resort to negative coping mechanisms and their rights are suppressed by negative cultural norms such as traditional gender roles and early marriage exposing them to high risk of HIV.

According to WHO, Uganda’s burden of disease is dominated by communicable diseases, accounting for over 50% of the annual deaths, and a growing burden of non-communicable diseases, including mental health disorders. However, the health system remains challenged due to insufficient resources to recruit, deploy, and retain quality health care service providers, especially in remote areas. In addition, mechanisms to ensure quality health care service delivery, timely and holistic health data collection and sufficient stock of essential medical supplies are not fully efficient.

The government of Uganda is implementing a policy of universal access to free primary education. Although this is a promising effort, the quality of the education and graduation rate are low. According to the World Bank, Uganda’s human capital index is low; children born in Uganda today are likely to be 38% as productive when they grow up, as they could be when enjoying high-quality education and health care.

Cordaid in Uganda

Relief, development and rehabilitation

Within this thematic area, we implement projects on climate change adaptation and mitigation, disaster preparedness and emergency response and resilient recovery.

Our Ecosystem-based Disaster Risk Reduction Eco – DRR project facilitates the recovery and conservation of degraded natural habitats in climate-affected areas of northeastern Uganda. Through targeted interventions, the project enables 160,000 vulnerable women and youth to adjust to the effects of climate change, reduce the risks of natural disasters, and be able to generate income and flourish as a community.

Tree planting enterprises northeastern Uganda
In northeastern Uganda, Cordaid and partner CARITAS Arua support tree planting enterprises that balance the climate and provide employment and income for communities. Image: Stephen Eresu Abila

Health care and education system strengthening

Through our Performance Based Financing programme, we work in 50 government aided primary schools in eastern Uganda to strengthen accountability mechanisms and facilitate improved access to decent, quality, and inclusive primary education in highly challenged areas of Uganda.

Our “Heroes” project also seeks to address the disproportionate burden of Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) and Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV) violations across nine districts in Uganda. It seeks to strengthen health systems through Results Based Financing (RBF) and facilitate improved wellbeing of more than 800,000 women and youth in East and Central Uganda.

Building sustainable livelihoods

We implement this thematic focus throughout our projects facilitating food security, improved nutrition, economic empowerment, decently-paid employment, and entrepreneurship for women, youth, and peoples with a disability in Uganda.

Highflyers is a three-year programme that seeks to scale up sustainable businesses and job creation in Nebbi and Lira districts in northern Uganda. It builds on scaling and further enhancing validated approaches in the provision of growth-oriented business development support to 1000 young agripreneurs in Uganda.

Youth agripreneurs in northern Uganda
In northern Uganda, Cordaid supports youth agripreneurs to develop business management skills and provides mentorship for their businesses to thrive. Image: Nancy Nandudu

Partners and donors

Cordaid works in Uganda with both national and international partners including: Ministry of Health in Uganda; Uganda Ministry of Education and Sports; Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights Alliance Uganda; Muni University; Caritas Arua Diocese; Rural Finance Initiative; Enterprise Uganda; Legal Aid Service Providers Network; Rural Initiative for Community Empowerment; Caritas Kotido; Soroti Catholic Diocese Development Organisation; Amref Health Uganda; MIFUMI; International Centre for Research on Women; Transcultural Psychosocial Organisation Uganda; SEMiLLA; SkillEd; ZOA; and War Child Netherlands.

Recent donors include the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Uganda (RNE); Dutch Innovation Fund (DIF); Vision Fund; Nuffic; Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Challenge Fund for Youth employment; Youth Business International; the Argidius Foundation; and the Standard Chartered Foundation, as well as UNICEF, the World Bank and DFID.