• Photo: Cassandra Nelson/Mercy Corps

The context

Mercy Corps has been working in Uganda since 2006. In the aftermath of a generation-long civil war that claimed thousands of lives and displaced millions more, Uganda is finally healing. But population growth is straining resources and services in a country that still has a long way to go.

With farmland not producing at capacity, food is in short supply and malnutrition is common. Good quality seeds are scarce in local markets, keeping yields low. Recurring climate shocks, including drought and flooding, have further reduced harvests.

Continuing inequalities in the distribution of income and the treatment of women have contributed to high poverty rates, poor health and disparities in education and opportunity.

While stable itself, some of Uganda’s neighbors are not. Every day, a staggering number of South Sudanese refugees arrive at Uganda’s northern border in search of safety. Over the past months, their numbers have dramatically increased, with an average of more than 2,000 daily arrivals. Uganda now hosts more than half a million refugees from South Sudan.

Get the quick facts about the crisis in South Sudan ▸

Our work

  • Agriculture & Food: Training farmer groups in business skills to grow subsistence plots to small-scale commercial farming operations.
  • Economic development: Providing jobs building roads that link farms to markets.
  • Health: Promoting maternal-child health and nutrition programs, including village-level mother groups that encourage healthy behavior change.
  • Emergency response: Meeting the urgent needs of vulnerable South Sudanese with cash while supporting local economy and livelihoods, establishing a cash for work program for both Ugandans and South Sudanese.