Emergency response in Kiryandongo refugee settlement

A caseworker providing support to the new arrivals in Kiryandongo refugee settlement. Photo: Rosette Kabayisa


On the road between Kampala and Gulu in Northern Uganda, lies Kiryandongo, a settlement now home to many refugees fleeing conflicts and hardships in Sudan and South Sudan. Since January 2024, the region has witnessed a significant influx of individuals, reaching a population of 96,860 (50,208 males, 46,652 females) as of March 31st, 2024, compared to the last population count of 81,223 on December 31st, 2023.

Currently, Kiryandongo refugee settlement is home to over 15,637 individuals who have recently arrived from Sudan, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, and Burundi, with more coming in on a daily.

In response to this pressing need, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) appointed the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) as the multi-sector implementing partner (IP) in Kiryandongo, entrusting us with the vital task of providing essential services to those in need.


Since opening offices in Kiryandongo in January 2024, LWF has embarked on a journey to address the challenges faced by refugees. With each passing day, our dedicated team witnesses firsthand the stories of resilience and hope among the displaced populations. From the bustling reception center to the vast expanse of the settlement, our efforts aim to make a tangible difference in the lives of those we serve.


One of our primary focuses has been on ensuring access to clean water and sanitation facilities. Recognizing the strain on existing resources and infrastructure due to the surge in refugee arrivals, we have undertaken routine maintenance of water supply infrastructure, including the repair of hand pump boreholes and the construction of communal latrines. In cluster G, we installed three tap stands with two draw-off points each, serving approximately 1,500 individuals. By providing these essential facilities, we aim to promote hygiene and prevent the spread of diseases within the settlement.


Our commitment to protection extends to the most vulnerable members of the community, particularly children and women. Through our child protection initiatives, we conduct Best Interest Assessments for unaccompanied and separated children, offer parenting sessions for foster parents and caregivers, and raise awareness on child rights and responsibilities. Similarly, our Gender-Based Violence (GBV) programs focus on individual case management, community mentorship sessions, and legal support for survivors of violence.


In addition to our protection efforts, LWF is dedicated to addressing the humanitarian needs of refugees in Kiryandongo. From supporting access to medical and psychosocial services, we strive to meet the basic needs of individuals and families facing displacement. Furthermore, our Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) services offer counseling and follow-up sessions to promote healing and resilience among those affected by trauma.

Despite the progress made, challenges remain, and the need for support is ongoing.


As we look ahead, we recognize the importance of continued collaboration and assistance to meet the evolving needs of refugees in Kiryandongo. With your support, we can empower lives, restore dignity, and build a brighter future for all those seeking refuge in Uganda. Together, we can make a difference, one life at a time.