Uganda’s population has increased by 10.4 million between 2002 and 2016. The country currently hosts the largest refugee caseload on the continent with 870,000 refugees — from South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi and other countries — living in and around 10 rural settlements and urban areas. More than half of the 592,000 South Sudanese refugees arrived in the latter half of 2016 — more than seven times the amount that arrived during the entire first half of this year.
The discovery of significant oil reserves in Uganda is expected to boost future economic growth, along with improved agriculture and tourism through the second National Development Plan. However, although per capita income growth stands at about 2 percent, poverty is still widespread with more than 19 percent of the population living below the national poverty line.
The Karamoja subregion is Uganda’s poorest, with chronic food insecurity, poor access to basic social services such as education and health, environmental degradation, erratic rainfall and recurrent droughts. Despite improved security in the region, a combination of these factors has undermined the capacity of households to meet their basic nutritional needs and has led to high rates of stunting among children at more than 39 percent.