Empowering Refugees Through Sustainable Food Solutions

Through a combination of immediate nutritional assistance and long-term sustainable food production solutions, DCA is aiding refugees in Uganda.

© Rasmus Emil Gravesen

DCA Uganda

The Issue

Uganda, the world’s fourth-largest refugee-hosting country, is home to over 1.5 million refugees. The country faces high poverty levels, with 8.3 million people living in poverty and food insecurity is a major concern, with the highest concern being in the West Nile region. Uganda’s refugee and host communities are grappling with high levels of malnutrition and food insecurity due to limited access to nutritious food and a lack of awareness about maximizing nutritional value. Factors contributing to this issue include high food prices, ineffective land and input utilization, changing humanitarian priorities due to funding gaps, and poor knowledge of good nutrition and agricultural practices.

Inflation reached 10.7% in October 2022, with food crops and related items contributing the most. This, combined with the fact that 90% of refugees rely on humanitarian food/cash aid, only exacerbates the situation. Inadequate knowledge of nutrition and agricultural practices contributes to malnutrition in refugee households – 91% of refugee households in the West Nile face food insecurity, particularly affecting women and children, leading to female-headed households, pregnant mothers, breastfeeding mothers, and school-age children being most affected.

The Project

This project aims to improve the nutrition, food security, and resilience of vulnerable refugee and host female-headed households in West Nile, Northern Uganda. It is aligned with the Uganda Country Refugee Response Plan 2022-2025. The project is in line with Uganda’s refugee policies, including the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF), National Development Plan III, and various sector refugee response plans. It builds on the practical experiences of DCA and PALM Corps, who have in-depth knowledge of food security, nutrition, markets, and livelihood assets and capacities in West Nile and Uganda. The project applies a blended approach through graduation, providing cash for nutrition for the first six months of a year and transitioning to self-production.

Arige Sony and her brother are enjoying the first meal of the day at 2 PM.

The Change

The project seeks to improve food security, nutrition, markets, and livelihoods in West Nile and Uganda by combining immediate nutrition assistance with long-term sustainable food production solutions. It will support 10,000 vulnerable refugees and host female-headed households, particularly pregnant and lactating mothers and their children, with cash for nutrition for the first six months of a year and transition into their own food production.

Kitchen gardens will be established and maintained on small patches of land, providing a platform for innovations in supplemental food production and improving livelihoods. Block farming, a joint venture production approach will be used to train producer groups in good agricultural practices and postharvest handling, enhancing access to land for farming. Documentation, research, and communications will inform evidence-based implementation, cross-sector learning, and replicable innovations to scale project approaches and engage the Danish population on nutrition and food security in refugee and host community settings.

Thematic Relevance

The Humanitarian-Development-Peace Nexus programme supports refugees, displaced persons, and refugee hosting communities to access immediate lifesaving assistance and to participate in long-term, development interventions for self-reliance and sustainable livelihoods.

DCA Uganda supports marginalized women, men, and youths with increased access to land and other natural resources in a climate and environmentally responsible way and contributes to the DCA goal of “Build Resilience“.

About this project

Title: Enhancing food security and nutritional outcomes for vulnerable women and children in West Nile, Northern Uganda

Period: 1. January 2024 – 31. December 2027

National partner: Palm Corps

Amount: 40,000,000 DKK

Outreach: 100,000 persons (60,000 female)

Donor: Novo Nordisk Foundation

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