The notorious Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), known for their brutal killings, mutilations, abductions and forced recruitment of children, were active across northern Uganda for more than twenty years.
Two decades of conflict and mass displacement devastated northern Uganda, which continues to suffer from high poverty levels, high youth unemployment, gender inequality and a lack of access to basic services.
Although significant progress has been made in tackling poverty across Uganda, with the national poverty rate falling from 24.5% in 2009/10 to 19.7% in 2012/13 (Uganda Poverty Status Report 2014), the northern regions continue to lag far behind.
Poverty levels in the north have fallen slightly, from 46.2% in 2009/10 to 43.7% in 2012/13, but remain more than twice the national average. Access to healthcare and education is severely limited. There is a strong feeling in the north that they are neglected by the Government, and that aid donated for the north often fails to reach them.
Around Patongo in northern Uganda, where our partners are located, around 11% of the population are living with HIV, far higher than the national average of 7.2%. Many of the sufferers are orphaned children.