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Sida's work in Uganda

Even though Uganda has developed economically in recent decades, poverty remains widespread. Sida works to ensure that human rights are respected, that more individuals have access to good healthcare and that the society will be more resilient to the effects of climate change.

Sida’s support to Uganda 2020

Progress has been made

1/3

of the Millennium Development Goals were achieved by Uganda. Between 1990 and 2015, poverty decreased by two-thirds and the number of children contracting malaria was reduced by more than half.

89%

of Ugandans between the ages of 15 and 24 can read and write.

More women give birth in clinics

The proportion of women who gave birth in clinics rather than at home increased from 46 percent to 54 percent between 2017 and 2018. The share of expectant mothers who went to four prenatal visits increased from 32 to 40 percent.

Challenges remain

Shrinking space for civil society

The democratic space allowing civil society organisations and the political opposition to operate has shrunk in recent years.

Increased poverty

The number of people living in poverty has increased since 2017.

Political unrest

Political unrest in the run-up to the 2021 elections and increased frustration among the unemployed youth in the country threaten the country’s reputation as a stable and peaceful country in an otherwise conflict-ridden region.

Development cooperation in Uganda

One out of five five Ugandans lives in poverty. Over the past ten years the country has developed economically, but despite of this, high levels of unemployment persist.  More recently, poverty has even increased and the frustration of unemployed young people in particular is creating tensions in the society. Uganda is also the country in Africa that host the most refugees, which puts additional pressure on natural resources and public services.

Human rights, gender equality, democracy and the rule of law

As many other African countries, Uganda is struggling with weak democracy, limited access to public services and human rights violations. The society is permeated by a patriarchal structure in which women have little possibility to have control over their lives or influence in political decision-making, and are often subjected to violence.

Supporting human rights organisations

According to the civil society organisation Freedom House’s rating of political rights and civil liberties in the world, Uganda went from being considered “partially free” to being “not free” in 2019. Sida supports the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), which monitors and supports human rights organisations in the country.

About the work in Uganda at the OHCHR website

Stronger civil society

The civil society organisations in Uganda are vigorous, however the democratic space for non-governmental organisations to operate is shrinking. The Democratic Governance Facility (DGF) programme works to strengthen civil society organisations, reduce the distance between citizens and the state and increase people’s knowledge of their rights, for example in the field of women’s land rights.

The Democratic Governance Facility (DGF) website

Preventing gender-based violence

It is estimated that one in five women and girls between the ages of 15 to 29 have been subjected to sexual violence, and one in two married women are often or always scared of their husband. A programme implemented by the UNFPA and UN Women contributes to prevent gender-based violence, with a focus on particularly vulnerable groups and regions.

Environment, climate and sustainable economic development

The number of Ugandans that are unemployed or underemployed is increasing. Many individuals living in poverty directly depend on forests, fishery, and agriculture for their livelihood. However, the country’s natural resources are declining at a rapid pace and are being adversely affected by the effects of climate change, which also threatens biodiversity.

Women's influence in the agricultural sector

The agricultural work is to a large extent done by women, however women have less access to land than men, as well as less control over their money. The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation FAO promotes women’s ownership and works to increase the possibilities for women to participate in decision-making. FAO is salso contributing to make the agricultural sector more resilient in the face of climate change.

About the work in Uganda at the FAO website

Higher income from agriculture

The Agricultural Business Initiative supports agricultural producers and small-scale farmers, and assists them to increase agricultural productivity, thus creating new jobs and promoting higher income.

The Agricultural Business Initiative website

Renewable electricity in rural areas

Few of the country’s inhabitants have access to electricity – in rural areas less than 11% have electricity in their home. The Renewable Energy Challenge Fund provides SME’s working with renewable electricity the possibility to reach more people – especially those living in poverty in rural areas.

Basic healthcare and sexual and reproductive rights

The rapid population growth and major health challenges such as malaria and HIV/AIDS, places a considerable strain on the healthcare system in Uganda. Issues related to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) are very controversial in Uganda. Stereotyped gender norms as well as lack of knowledge and access to healthcare threaten people’s health and their right to make decisions about their own life and body. 

Improving maternal and child welfare

In the West Nile sub-region in north-western Uganda, infant mortality is particularly high. In its work with child and maternal health, UNICEF strengthens the district’s health sector and contributes to respond to the growing need for health and medical care services in areas that host many refugees.

About maternal health in Uganda at the UNICEF website

Information about safe sex

In 2018, at least 53,000 people in Uganda was infected with HIV. Young women are at higher risk of being affected compared to young men. The foundation Uganda SRHR Umbrella works to disseminate information about safe sex, improve access to HIV care, and provide support to particularly vulnerable groups.

About Uganda SRHR Umbrella at the Frontline Aids website

Research collaborations

Sida’s research cooperation with Uganda consists of 17 research projects, the majority of which are collaborations between Swedish universities and other institutions of higher education and Ugandan universities. The support goes i.a. to doctoral education, both locally and projects where parts of the education is given in Sweden.

Updated: 1 July 2021