Remarks By U.S. Ambassador to Uganda Natalie E. Brown | United States Provides Humanitarian Assistance in Uganda Amid Global Food Crisis

Remarks By U.S. Ambassador to Uganda Natalie E. Brown | United States Provides Humanitarian Assistance in Uganda Amid Global Food Crisis

July 15, 2022
Office of the Prime Minister
Kampala, Uganda

(As prepared for delivery)

Good morning.  Thank you, Minister Onek.  We appreciate your hosting U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration Julieta Noyes during her visit to Uganda, and especially for the hospitality and courtesies extended to her and her team during their visit to refugee settlements this week.

Uganda asst. sec NoyesBecause of the generosity of the Government of Uganda and its people and your commitment to safeguard the safety and security of refugees, Uganda is recognized worldwide for its exemplary open door and open settlement policies.  Today, Uganda is the top refugee-hosting country in Africa.  With the arrival of over 71,000 individuals from the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan since the start of the year, needs are great.  As the U.S. Ambassador to Uganda, I see first-hand the pressure Uganda faces as it continues to address the refugee response.  During my visit to Rwamwanja Refugee Settlement in April, I observed the challenges those fleeing instability and the communities welcoming them faced in providing for their families and protecting them from illnesses like malaria and COVID-19.  I also saw the hard work of so many to provide lifesaving health, education, and nutrition services to people in need.  I applaud the commitment of the NGOs, the many civil society organizations, and the health volunteers, and I thank Uganda for maintaining its progressive policies toward refugees.

Uganda asst sec Noyes2Today, I am pleased to announce that the United States, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is providing $21 million in emergency food aid to support the most vulnerable people in Uganda.  This funding will support general food assistance and comprehensive nutrition programming for refugees as well as address the immediate needs of the people of Karamoja.  The United States is committed to contributing to ending hunger and malnutrition and building more sustainable, equitable, and resilient food systems around the world.

A confluence of crises has pushed many Ugandans toward a hunger crisis.  Food prices–already high as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic–have soared even higher due to Russia’s war on Ukraine, putting families at risk of starvation.  Impacts of climate change, drought, and conflict have left record numbers of people in the Karamoja Sub-region in dire need of aid, with women and children facing the brunt of the crisis.

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) will program the $21 million in USAID funding announced today.  This funding will provide newly arrived refugees with hot meals at transit and reception centers.  It also will support other refugees with monthly portions of beans, maize grain, and vegetable oil; and cash for purchasing food staples from local markets, which also supports the Ugandan economy.

USAID’s funding will also support communities in Uganda’s Karamoja Sub-region.  More than half a million people in Karamoja are going hungry, and more than half of all children are severely malnourished and in need of urgent nutrition assistance in the worst-affected areas.  In response, USAID will provide emergency food and nutrition assistance to more than 94,000 people in Karmoja Sub-region.

  • This U.S. support will target households in sub-counties that are facing Emergency levels of food insecurity and acute malnutrition. USAID will provide 1,508 metric tons of food commodities, composed of cereals, pulses and vegetable oil to cover three months of assistance.
  • It will enable WFP to implement a supplementary feeding program to prevent malnutrition among 11,120 individuals in districts with critical levels of acute malnutrition, which include the Moroto, Kaabong and Amudat districts. USAID will provide a total of 1,100 metric tons of Super Cereal Plus, a fortified blended food designed to prevent and treat malnutrition, to pregnant and lactating women, and children under five.
  • It will also enable WFP to procure 208.5 metric tons of Ready to Use Supplementary Food, a highly fortified paste. USAID will reach 23,170 children under five suffering from moderate acute malnutrition and located across the nine districts of Karamoja.

Needs are great.  They cannot be ignored.  They require our collective efforts and renewed commitment to ensure that the most vulnerable have the resources they need to mitigate the multitude of challenges they face.  The situation we confront today requires us not only to intensify our efforts but also to find innovative and sustainable ways we can address these challenges.  No one partner can do it alone.  That is why the United States calls upon the Government of Uganda and its partners, the private sector, and communities to join forces.

Now, I would like to turn it over to Assistant Secretary Noyes, who will make additional announcements on U.S. support for Uganda.

For additional information, see related U.S. Department of State, Press Statement, Humanitarian Assistance for Africa, July 15, 2022; and U.S. Agency for International Development, Press Release, United State Provides $82 million in Humanitarian Assistant in Uganda Amid Global Food Crisis, July 15, 2022.