Hundreds of unaccompanied refugee children receive relief items

13 AUGUST 2018

Hundreds of refugee children who have arrived unaccompanied from South Sudan have received relief items to meet their immediate needs in Lamwo district, Uganda.

Children receiving critical relief items in Palabek refugee settlement
Children receiving critical relief items in Palabek refugee settlement

Children are continuing to arrive in Uganda as they flee from the conflict in South Sudan which broke out in 2013. Many arrive without parents or anyone to care for them, leaving them vulnerable.

Plan International Uganda is distributing a number of supplies to help children settle into Uganda’s refugee camps and keep them safe. These items include warm clothing, shoes, mattresses, bedding, sanitary pads, shelter materials and school supplies. Where necessary, we also support children to receive medical care.

I am glad to receive these items because everything here is scarce.

Susan, 15, arrived at the camp without any shoes, few clothes and nothing to wash herself with. She says, “I am glad to receive these items because everything here is scarce.”

Country Director of Plan International Uganda, Greg Lavendar, said that with thousands of refugees still arriving in Uganda, the amount of aid the country is able to deliver is increasingly falling short and therefore humanitarian aid is needed to support the affected populations.

Critical gaps still exist

Despite Uganda having the third highest refugee population in the world, it has only received 8.2% of the funding necessary to support its refugees in 2018.

Palabek is a newly established settlement for refugees and there are no spaces to provide psychological and emotional support for affected children. There is also a lack of food, shelter, water, sanitation, education, early childhood services and children are also at risk of violence.

Girls suffer most

173 of the 264 newly resettled children in Palabek settlement are girls
173 of the 264 newly resettled children in Palabek settlement are girls

Adolescent girls are among the worst affected groups during conflicts and emergencies. As a result they are more likely to drop out of school and suffer abuse which can have hugely adverse effects on their futures. Therefore it is critical that girls are kept safe and have access to shelter and education as a matter of priority.

Our response

Plan International Uganda has been responding to the South Sudan refugee influx in Northern Uganda and in West Nile since 2014. 

We are supporting over 35,000 refugees, 60% of whom are children. We are working to keep children safe, provide early learning and development opportunities, provide critical relief items and improve the sanitation and health of refugees.

Our work is centred in 19 settlements in the districts of Adjumani (Northern Uganda) Yumbe and Arua (West Nile).