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  • Total population: 38 million

  • Total population under 18: 22 million

  • Children affected by conflict: 600,000 refugees (estimated)

  • Number of War Child projects in 2017: Four

  • Number of implementing partner organisations: Two

  • Number of partners providing funding: Three

  • Total child participants: 6,681 (2,973 girls and 3,708 boys)

  • Total adult participants: 2,390 (1,694 women and 696 men)

Why We’re There

Uganda is now enjoying peace and stability following years of war. Yet ongoing conflicts in three neighbouring states - South Sudan, Burundi and DR Congo - have seen massive numbers of refugees enter the country over the past two years.

Uganda is currently home to an estimated 1.4 million refugees - nearly two-thirds (61 per cent) of whom are children. This significant population increase has put pressure on available resources and may pose a threat to internal stability. One refugee settlement alone - the Bidibidi Settlement - has grown to accommodate 270,000 people in a mere matter of months.

The many thousands of child refugees who have made Uganda their home experience significant stress. The trauma and distress experienced by refugee children and youth is both long-term and significant - initiatives to support mental health are a humanitarian priority.

Children and young people living in refugee settlements also face various threats to their rights to physical safety. These threats include sexual violence, child labour and early marriage. In addition, funding shortfalls mean that children living in camps and settlements are seeing their food rations shrink.

What We Do

War Child works to protect and support children and young people in Uganda through projects designed to improve their psychosocial wellbeing. This approach - coupled with our education activities - enables children to develop coping skills, build their resilience and recover from the consequences of conflict.

Improved psychosocial wellbeing allows children and young people to better engage in education - and enjoy increased livelihood opportunities as a result. War Child also works with parents, caregivers and other important adults in children’s lives to further support and safeguard the improved wellbeing of children and youth.

To further meet the educational needs of both refugee and host communities, 2018 will see War Child expand its e-learning initiative - Can’t Wait to Learn - to Uganda. Work will also begin with Save the Children on the roll-out of our TeamUp programme of structured recreational activities.

War Child has been active in Uganda since 2004.

Our Projects

Recovery and Resilience for Refugee and Vulnerable Children:

This project sees children and their caregivers - from both the Bidibidi refugee settlement and surrounding communities - build life skills and access vital psychosocial support.

Recovery, Response, Resilience, Readiness and Opportunity:

Initiative to enhance the protection and resilience of both refugee and vulnerable children and youth through specialised psychosocial support and mental health services.

Can’t Wait to Learn:

Global programme to provide conflict-affected children with quality education - no matter where they live. The programme sees children play curriculum-based educational games on tablets to learn in an effective and fun way.

Agribusiness Skills for Refugee Youth (ABSYR):

Initiative to increase the number of young people (from both refugee and host communities) who can generate income through being (self-) employed in agriculture.


See Global Programme Initiatives – Can’t Wait to Learn section for more on our work in Sudan.