After decades of violent conflict, Uganda is now relatively stable, though it still faces many challenges. Uganda is prone to a variety of natural and man-made hazards. Farmers and nomadic pastoralists are increasingly exposed to unpredictable and changing rainfall patterns. This causes droughts and floods, and makes it more difficult to plan agricultural production. The capacity to prepare for and adapt to these climate events remains inadequate. This not only undermines food production, but also the income and health of farming communities, who make up 84% of the Ugandan population.
Recently, the United Nations warned that Uganda is at a ’breaking point’ with the ongoing influx of South Sudanese refugees, fleeing violence and famine. This crisis is largely forgotten by international media. Yet, the figures are staggering, with hundreds of thousands of people staying in single camp settlements, 86% of them being women and children below the age of 18. The Ugandan government, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and their partners are unable to cater for all the needs of such a large refugee population. The strains on the host community are enormous, sometimes leading to direct tensions between the two populations. Lack of food, clean water and sanitation facilities are the most prominent needs.
Although progress has been made, the Ugandan health system still faces challenges. It is underfunded, understaffed and often inaccessible, especially to vulnerable groups like women, elderly, and those living with HIV/AIDS.