Frontline Stories

10 Facts: Life in Northern Uganda's Refugee Settlements

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Since conflict broke out in South Sudan in 2013, over 1 million refugees have crossed the border into Uganda.

World Vision, in partnership with two other humanitarian organisations, conducted an inter-agency study of refugees and host communities in two refugee settlements in Arua District, northern Uganda.

The study interviewed 1,135 people to learn about the challenges refugees face when they arrive and the challenges host communities experience in welcoming the new arrivals.

Here's what our research team learned about refugees:


Many children have witnessed horrific events in their homeland, leading them to flee.


Many men have remained in South Sudan to protect property. Other men have been killed in the conflict, leaving women to raise children alone.


Families are not only composed of parents and children, often families take care of nephews or nieces or other relatives.


Many of the youth are unemployed. Without any work, there is fear that some may return to South Sudan and join the conflict.


Families do not have money saved, there is no money set aside for a family emergency.


Other refugees supplement the food assistance with vegetables they grow on the plot of land they are given by the government.


Due to shortfalls in funding, the World Food Programme may be forced to cut the monthly rations people receive.


Aside from their own small-scale agricultural work, when refugees do get employment, it is in petty trade or casual labour.


Lack of education hinders refugees from gaining access to jobs.


The skills most requested for men are building, bricklaying and carpentry. For women, the most requested skills are hairdressing and tailoring.

World Vision is actively responding to needs arising from the ongoing conflict in South Sudan, both inside and outside the country.

Learn more: Our work in South Sudan

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