Uganda is currently hosting the largest number of refugees in Africa. More than 1.1 million refugees have entered Uganda from neighbouring countries, mainly South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). At the same time, during this period many important political events took place in Uganda. The presidential age limit was removed from the constitution and local council elections took place for the first time in 17 years, but there was also increased unrest and political tension in the country. Opposition parties and NGOs had greater difficulty working in Uganda, especially those working on LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) rights.
Uganda is a country with huge potential, a stable economic policy and opportunities in the agricultural and energy sectors. However, due to the high increase in population (more than 3% per year), economic growth can only partly reduce the existing poverty.
The Netherlands’ support during this period focused on welfare improvement for all Ugandans. To achieve this, the Netherlands contributed to strengthening the rule of law, improving food and nutrition security, and enhancing trade and investment.
More attention than before has been given to supporting sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). This is partly because of the large amount of refugees that entered Uganda and their vulnerability to sexual health issues. Uganda has an open, active policy on hosting refugees, which are not confined to camps and receive a small plot of land to cultivate. In response to this policy, the Netherlands has increased its support to refugees and host communities mainly in northern Uganda.