By Bazio Doreen,  

On 25th July 2023, the Country Representative for United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Uganda, Mary Otieno, commended Adjumani District Local Government, for ensuring that its partners have a smooth implementation and the best-performing district of the Women, Adolescents, and Youth Rights and Empowerment Project since 2017. The WAY program is a 5-year humanitarian program ending this December that was being implemented in 7 other districts in both the West Nile and Northern regions. The program was funded by DANIDA through UNFPA but implemented by CARE International, Outbox, different districts, Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development, Ministry of Health and Reach a Hand Uganda. The project team works with about 5 departments at the district that is; Production, Education, Community-Based Services, Health, and Planning. The program mainly focuses on the thematic areas of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR).

 While on an official visit to the district, Ms. Otieno, also informed the district leaders that UNFPA is supporting the National Planning Authority (NPA), to conduct a digital census and mapping during the upcoming census exercise scheduled for this year. She also requested the district to build synergies with the different partners working in the district to ensure that refugees are in a better position to cope with the ever-dwindling food ratios. 

 The CAO, on behalf of the district leadership, thanked UNFPA for supporting and empowering the communities over the years and ensuring that they leave an impact adding that they should consider extending the support for a few more years since refugees are not about to return to their country. 

 One of the most notable interventions has been the Safe Space, where refugee women and girls meet, exchange information and experiences, and rebuild social assets and community networks. They access information and referrals to sexual reproductive health services, including family planning, maternal healthcare for pregnant women, prevention, and response to gender-based violence, as well as livelihood skills for economic empowerment.

 To date, Uganda is hosting over 1.5 million refugees and asylum seekers, according to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. Adjumani district has a population of 482,814, of which 238,800 are nationals while 244,014 are refugees, mainly from South Sudan.