Caritas Switzerland has been engaged in Uganda for over 20 years. During this time, the country underwent substantial transformation: After almost two decades, the war with the Lord Resistance Army ended. Subsequently, the majority of internally displaced people moved out of refugee camps and returned to their areas of origin. The necessary structures and institutions enabling a democratic system and a market economy are now in place. However, Uganda is still one of the world’s poorest countries. The dynamic economy and fast growing business centres are hiding the fact that the vast majority of the population is very young, poorly educated and unemployed. At the same time, government service delivery is compromised by a high degree of corruption and challenged by rapid demographic growth. Politics are contested, gender inequalities are pronounced, and natural resources disputed. In addition, the country is vulnerable to natural disasters and to the negative effects of climate change.
Caritas Switzerland’s Uganda Programme responds to some of the most pressing of these challenges. It aims at the socio-economic empowerment and integration of youth and other vulnerable people, so as to enable human development, cover basic needs, strengthen resilience and enhance equity in Uganda. In line with the principles of the Rights Based Approach, the programme works in the Fields of Activity of Food Security and Markets, and Education and Income. Geographically, the focus is on Uganda’s greater north, where poverty is most severe, but may expand to other regions of the country in the future, in view of the replication potential of most approaches.
Caritas Switzerland’s engagement is fully aligned with the national development priorities set by the Government of Uganda to transform the Ugandan society from a peasant to a modern and prosperous country by 2040.