Mercy Corps to Provide Urgent Relief to South Sudanese Refugees in Uganda


February 2, 2017

Overwhelming humanitarian needs spurred by Africa’s largest refugee crisis

YUMBE, UGANDA – The global organization Mercy Corps is expanding its programs in northern Uganda to meet the urgent humanitarian needs of thousands of South Sudanese refugees who have fled an escalation of conflict in their country.

Over the past months, the number of South Sudanese refugees arriving at Uganda’s northern border has dramatically increased, with more than 1,800 daily arrivals according to the United Nations. Uganda now hosts more than half a million refugees from South Sudan.

Mercy Corps will implement a cash program to help some 15,000 people in Bidibidi settlement in Yumbe, northern Uganda, which is home to over 270,000 refugees, of which two-thirds are children.

“Our cash grants will allow refugees to buy what they and their families need most, while also injecting much needed currency into the local economy and supporting local livelihoods,” says Sean Granville-Ross, Mercy Corps Country Director for Uganda. “At Mercy Corps, we believe cash assistance is the most rapid, efficient and dignified manner of providing humanitarian aid.”

The Mercy Corps program will focus on the most vulnerable groups of South Sudanese refugees, including the elderly, women-headed households, unaccompanied minors and people with disabilities. A cash-for-work program will be established to provide work opportunities for both refugees and residents of the host communities as part of the conflict-management measures for the settlement.

Mercy Corps chose the cash-based response following its market assessment undertaken in November 2016. The study found that marketplaces within the Bidibidi settlement are growing to meet the demands of refugees, and that a cash-based response could stimulate the local economy and support trade.

Mercy Corps has been working in Uganda since 2006 specializing in economic development, financial inclusion, maternal child health and nutrition, resilience, and peacebuilding and conflict management.

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