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Africa • Uganda

Food security in the refugee settlement Bidi Bidi

Bidi Bidi in northern Uganda is the largest refugee camp in Africa. Only about 25 percent of the refugees in the settlements are supplied with sufficient food. But the situation in the host communities is also precarious. Together with our partner organization AFARD, we are helping to improve the food situation.

Helping people to help themselves: Through self-organisation in, for example, savings and credit associations, people improve their own living situation. (Photo: AWO International)Helping people to help themselves: Through self-organisation in, for example, savings and credit associations, people improve their own living situation. (Photo: AWO International)

About a quarter of the inhabitants of the West Nile region are people who had to flee their homelands. Most of them come from Southern Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. More than 220,000 people live in Bidi Bidi, the largest refugee settlement in Africa. The nutritional situation for the inhabitants is precarious: only about 25 percent of the refugees are provided with sufficient food. But also for the people in the host communities the supply with food is very difficult.

Although the United Nations World Food Program provides food for the refugees, the rations per household are nowhere near sufficient in terms of quantity or quality. In addition, the longer the refugees have been in the country, the lower the amount of food distributed.

So far, there have been two rainy seasons a year in the region, on which the farmers living here could rely. But in recent years the climate has changed considerably: The dry seasons have become longer, while the rainy periods have become shorter and more irregular.

Strengthen self-organisation and create perspectives

However, farmers in this region continue to use their traditional agricultural techniques, which are little adapted to climate change. As a result, less is produced and it is becoming increasingly difficult to supply families with food. The alternatives are limited because people lack the necessary knowledge and access to capital to create new sources of income. Activities such as deforestation to gain more usable land, brick production and sand extraction tend to be counterproductive and cause severe environmental pollution. Poverty and lack of prospects are often followed by crime.

Together with our partner organization AFARD we want to counteract the cycle of poverty and lack of prospects. The project targets both refugees and their host communities. Self-selected and self-organized farmers' groups are founded, and the members receive training in effective, ecologically sustainable agricultural techniques adapted to the new climatic conditions. Thematic focuses are, for example, pest and disease control, soil and water conservation, organic fertilizers and tree planting.

The farmers' groups are also trained in the methods of so-called savings and credit associations. The members take part in various workshops on financial management and entrepreneurship and save together in savings groups. This enables members to gain access to loans that they were previously denied. The newly acquired knowledge opens up new opportunities and sources of income for people. Our goal is to help the refugees and their host communities become stronger economic actors who take their fate into their own hands.

Project information

ProjectFood security in the refugee settlement Bidi Bidi
Place/RegionBidibidi Flüchtlingssiedlung, West Nile, Uganda
PartnerAFARD
Target group

Refugees and their host communities

Activities
  • Foundation of self-governing farmers groups
  • Training on effective and environmentally sustainable agricultural techniques
  • Foundation of savings and credit associations
  • Training on financial management and entrepreneurship
  • Family planning workshops
  • Awareness raising activities on equal rights and peaceful coexistence
Duration2019
Budget50.000 Euro p.a.
SponsorAktion Deutschland Hilft, Donations

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