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Food Security and Empowerment of Refugees and Host Communities in Uganda

West Nile is the biggest host of refugees and asylum seekers in Uganda. Majority of them face persistent realities of food insecurity, malnutrition and climate change. Together with our partner RICE West Nile, we support refugees and asylum seekers to improve their situation and strengthen their resilience.

A woman stands in a field and smiles at the camera.
Ndiriya Adesa is a farmer, mother of 10 children and proud member of the Happy Mama and Baba Refugee Group, a group of Congolese refugees working for food security in their community.

Uganda is home to approximately 1,582,892 refugees and asylum seekers from South Sudan, Democratic republic of Congo (DRC) and some from Kenya and Burundi. Our project with our local partner RICE WN, is being implemented in Palorinya and Lobule refugee settlements in the West Nile which host approximately 128,520 refugees and 5,910 refugees respectively. 

Food insecurity and malnutrition are persistent realities to families within this region; and this is attributed to low agriculture production caused by poor agronomic practices, limited access to agro-inputs, land for cultivation, low incomes, inadequate dietary intake and lack of knowledge on nutrition; poor land management practices which degrade natural resources therefore contributing to climate change and conflicts for between refugees and locals who rely on these natural resources. Most refugees and locals live in extreme poverty. Whereas agriculture is precarious, non-farming jobs are few especially for refugees. As part of our project, we are working with our local partner organization, RICE WN, to help empower refugees, asylum seekers and the locals to improve the food, nutrition and income security as well as climate resilience. 

Food security and Climate resilience

Refugees and locals are trained on improved sustainable agricultural practices, natural resource management, food security and nutrition, cooking demonstration and establishment of nutrition sensitive kitchen gardens which enables them manage malnutrition cases in their communities. During cooking demonstrations, various nutrition practices are demonstrated to community members who appreciate and adapt these practices including establishing own kitchen gardens to meet daily household dietary and food security needs; additional demonstration gardens are established to boost household income security. 

Women also heavily depend on the environment for wood for fuel, medicinal purposes, and materials for income generation and hence are faced with greater vulnerability due to lack of alternative choices for their survival. Through using locally available materials, households are able to make energy saving stoves, and also engage in briquette making for home use helping them to address the ever-increasing demand for energy but also boosting their incomes. Through community radio dialogues and trees for land restoration campaigns, communities are sensitized about climate change effects and how they can access and use renewable energy. 

Improving livelihoods through youth and women empowerment

Women and girls are at a disadvantage and experience inequality in terms of control over and ownership of businesses and productive resources such as land, finances and other household resources. As part of our project, we are working with our partner RICE WN to equip youth especially out of school adolescent boys and girls with various professional vocational skills which will create employment and income generating opportunities. Youth and women will also be sensitized about gender and sexual reproductive health rights with which they can seek advice in case of any challenges.  

Through the gender action learning systems approach, women economic engagement is enhanced through direct participation, capacity building, improved agricultural production and market engagement. 

Our project contributes to achieving these sustainable development goals, for example.


Project Strengthening Resilience and Improving Livelihoods
Place/Region Lobule and Palorinya refugee settlement, Koboko and Obongi districts.
Partner Rural Initiative for Community Empowerment West Nile (RICE West Nile)
Target group Refugees and their host communities, a total of 9760 beneficiaries.
  • Establishment of 35 savings and development clusters and 5 adolescents skills networks.
  • Trainings on improved sustainable agricultural practices and natural resource management.
  • Trainings on nutrition practices and malnutrition case management.
  • Establishment of demonstration gardens and kitchen gardens.
  • Conducting 8 cooking demonstrations.
  • Broadcasting of community radio dialogues on peaceful coexistence and inclusion and climate change information and benefits of renewable energy technologies.
  • Trainings on improved cookstove and briquette making.
  • Establishment of 4 community nurseries.
  • Conducting campaigns on trees for land restoration and peace building.
  • Trainings in vocational skills.
  • Conducting sensitizations on gender and sexual reproductive health rights.
  • Trainings on value chain development.
  • Trainings in savings and credit methodology.
Duration January 2023 – December 2025
Budget 200.000 EUR
Sponsor BMZ SSF

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