Programme purpose: reduce vulnerability to, and impact of, disasters in Uganda
Timeframe: August 2011 – December 2014
Funding: £2.6 million from the UK government’s Department for International Development (DFID)
Over the last two decades Uganda has transformed from a failed state to a fast-growing economy. Since 2005, the proportion of people living in poverty reduced from 31 per cent to 24.5 per cent.
However progress has been unevenly distributed across the country and in the north 46 per cent of the population still live in poverty.
Risks faced by Ugandans
Natural disasters, such as drought, flooding and landslides, affected 3.6 million Ugandans between 2000 and 2009. And the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicts the effect of climate change in Uganda will include an increase in erratic rainy seasons and intense rain storms, matched by longer drier spells (IPCC, 2007, Climate Change 2007:Synthesis Report, Geneva, Switzerland).
With a rapidly growing population, disease outbreaks, environmental degradation and climate change, people’s overall levels of risk to disaster in Uganda are steadily increasing. This affects economic growth and progress on reducing poverty.
We know that disasters affect poor people the most, through: higher mortality rates; loss of earnings; the destruction of household goods and equipment used in businesses or livelihoods; and ability to access food and health care.
But we also know that reducing the risk of disasters can be an effective means to avoid future emergency costs, for donors and the poor.
What are we doing?
With funding from DFID, we are supporting the Uganda Red Cross Society in:
- Developing local skills in 22 communities in eastern Uganda to find ways of reducing the risk of flooding, as well as addressing its effects, such as increased risk of malaria and other health problems, loss of income and access to markets.
- Increasing capacity to respond to future disasters. This includes: strengthening programme management skills; updating procedures for disaster response; pre-positioning emergency relief stocks; strengthening logistics systems.
- Developing evidence of good practices in the Red Cross’ community disaster management programmes and using it to influence other humanitarian practitioners.
- Improving the Uganda Red Cross Society’s ability to influence national disaster management policy and enhance co-ordination with other humanitarian agencies.
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