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Rapid Assessment of Natural Resources Degradation in Areas Impacted by the South Sudan Refugee Influx in Northern Uganda

Posted by: Arturo Gianvenuti

Modified date: 02/13/2019

Rapid Assessment of Natural Resources Degradation in Areas Impacted by the South Sudan Refugee Influx in Northern Uganda


Relevant sector: Environment, Early Recovery & Livelihoods, Other

Resource type: Document

Resource use: Needs Assessment & Analysis

Language of the document: English


Arturo Gianvenuti, Laura D'Aietti, Rebecca Tavani, et al.




he ongoing refugee crisis in South Sudan has led to the establishment of some of the world’s largest refugee settlements over the border in northern Uganda. By March 2018, over a million South Sudanese refugees and asylum seekers had migrated to Uganda, more than 350,000 of them in 2017 alone. Uganda is also hosting refugees from Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Somalia, making it the largest refugee host country in Africa (and second in the world), with a total of 1.4 million refugees and asylum-seekers. The influx of refugees is reported to have exacerbated a range of ongoing environmental impacts and associated challenges, including land degradation and woodland loss, resulting in inadequate access to energy for cooking and competition with local people for water and other natural resources. Supporting more sustainable use of those resources, especially forests and other woodlands, could help address environmental degradation and improve energy access. The World Bank commissioned the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to undertake a rapid assessment of natural resource degradation around the refugee settlements in northern Uganda, with a focus on forest resources, and to identify possible interventions to mitigate pressure on the environment and support energy access for both the refugee and host communities. This Technical Report summarizes the main findings and recommendations of the assessment. These are expected to guide World Bank support to the Government of Uganda(GoU)—including the Development Response to Displacement Impacts Project (DRDIP) and an IDA disbursement window for refugee-affected countries—as well as provide information of wider strategic value to other agencies concerned with the impacts of refugees on natural resources in Uganda.

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