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Food Security and Agricultural Livelihoods Cluster. Plan of Action for Northern Uganda








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    Book (stand-alone)
    Comparative analysis of livelihood recovery in the post-conflict periods – Karamoja and Northern Uganda 2019
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    This paper examines the parallel but separate trajectories of peace-building, recovery and transformation that have occurred over the past 15 years in northern (Acholi and Lango sub-regions) and northeastern (Karamoja sub-region) Uganda. While keeping in mind the key differences in these areas, we highlight the similarities in the nature of recovery, the continuing challenges and the need for external actors to keep in mind the ongoing tensions and vulnerability that could undermine the tenuous peace. The initial peace processes in both northern Uganda and Karamoja were largely top-down in nature, with little participation from the affected populations. In Karamoja, the Ugandan military started a forced disarmament campaign in 2006. This was the second such effort in five years and was top-down and heavy-handed. Although many observers gave it little chance of success, by 2013 large-scale cattle raids were infrequent, and road ambushes were almost non-existent. Critically, local initiatives eventually emerged in parallel to the top-down disarmament efforts. Prime amongst these were local resolutions adopted in 2013–2014 that created a system of compensation for thefts, enforced by “peace committees.” In northern Uganda, a top-down, politically negotiated peace process between the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and the Government of Uganda ended two decades of fighting in 2006. The internally displaced person (IDP) camps were disbanded, and thousands of displaced people returned to their rural homes, some because they no other option once assistance in the camps ceased. One of the most important factors in recovery in Karamoja has been the growth of markets. Traders were reluctant to bring wares to the region during the period of insecurity, and hence goods were few and prices high. Today, most trading centres host markets on a weekly basis, and shops have consistent inventories. In northern Uganda, the biggest driver of recovery has been the return of displaced people to their homes and the resumption of farming. By 2011, crop production had resumed its pre-conflict status as the primary livelihood in the region. In both locations, however, engagement in markets is limited, and many people remain economically marginalized. Challenges to recovery and long-term stability are similar across the two locations. Both northern Uganda and Karamoja continue to struggle with food insecurity and malnutrition, despite the massive influx of development funds, improved security and expansion of markets. In northern Uganda, the conflict continues to influence household livelihoods. Households that have a member who experienced war crimes are consistently worse off. These continuing problems with food security and nutrition call into question many assumptions about recovery and development. In particular, the idea that peace will bring a natural bounce in economic and household well-being does not appear to hold up in these cases. Additional structural challenges to recovery in both locations include climate change and environmental degradation, poor governance and corruption, limited opportunities for decent work, livelihood transformation and loss, and conflict over land. These factors reinforce each other and make it extremely difficult for average households to develop sustainable and secure livelihoods. External interventions often fail to take into account the local priorities and realities in these areas. Many programmes are place based or focus on rural areas, but the population is in flux. This is especially true for young people. In addition, while many people are doing much better than they were 15 years ago, others are being pushed out of pastoralism and are struggling to achieve diversified and sustainable livelihoods. Overall, while the recent trajectories of recovery in Karamoja and northern Uganda are remarkably similar, the context, livelihoods and challenges in each location are importantly unique. National actors should not seek to derive combined approaches or policies that lump together these two areas. In both cases, the lived reality, history and experiences of the population should be central to designing appropriate, effective and sustainable responses to the ongoing obstacles to a stable peace and full recovery.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    Uganda – Food security and livelihoods in areas affected by desert locusts, September 2020
    Assessment report
    2021
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    This report outlines the results of a household survey carried out in August–September 2020 to assess the impact of desert locust invasions on food security and livelihoods in Uganda. In 2019–2020, the Horn of Africa was affected by what was described by FAO as the worst desert locust infestation in over 25 years. Desert locust swarms pose a severe threat to agriculture-based livelihoods, particularly in areas where food security is already fragile. The first swarm of locusts entered the Ugandan subregion of Karamoja – already the most food-insecure subregion in the country – on 9 February 2020. By September 2020, desert locusts had been sighted in over 20 districts in the Acholi, Elgon, Karamoja, Lango, and Teso subregions. To assess the impact of the desert locust invasions, a survey of 7 800 households was carried out in the affected subregions. Data collection, processing, and analysis were carried out by a technical team comprising staff of the Uganda Bureau of Statistics, the Office of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, district local governments, Makerere University and FAO; Catholic Relief Services provided support during the collection and validation of the data. The assessment found that the desert locust invasions had had a negative impact on the livelihoods and food security of a majority of households in all surveyed subregions. Based on the results of the assessment, a number of recommendations for response options (including control measures and livelihood support programmes) were formulated. A critical need to improve Uganda’s desert locust preparedness by strengthening the country’s capacities for real-time surveillance, rapid verification and deployment of control teams upon confirmation was highlighted.
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    Brochure, flyer, fact-sheet
    Comparative analysis of livelihood recovery in the post-conflict periods in Karamoja and northern Uganda
    Mind the gap – briefing paper 2: Bridging the research, practice and policy divide to enhance livelihood resilience in conflict settings
    2019
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    This briefing paper accompanies a report that examines the parallel but separate trajectories of peace-building, recovery and transformation over the past 15 years in northern (Acholi and Lango subregions) and northeastern (Karamoja) Uganda. Parallels between these areas include a history of marginalization from the central state, underdevelopment and endemic poverty, and vulnerability to climate change and cross-border incursions. This is the second in a series of three briefing papers that form part of the Mind the gap – Bridging the research, practice and policy divide to enhance livelihood resilience in conflict settings project, a collaboration between FAO and the Feinstein International Center, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University.

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