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International Partnerships

RISE: Supporting refugees and host communities in Northern Uganda

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Yesko Specioza, a RISE graduate and female plumber working at the Comboni Missionaries in Obongi District. Credit: Tumuhairwe Diana Sharone

The programme helps improve the livelihoods of refugees and host communities in selected districts in Northern Uganda. In line with Comprehensive refugee Response Framework (CRRF) objectives, resilience and self-reliance are therefore promoted. The capacities of district local governments are strengthened for better service delivery and integration of refugee needs. Employment and income opportunities for women and youth are promoted through non-formal vocational skilling, private sector support and financial inclusion. Refugees and host communities are also supported to increase their income from small scale commercial agriculture production.

Scope and objectives

Uganda hosts more than 1.5 million refugees, of which more than 950,000 are in the West Nile region (source: UNHCR). The increased number of refugees and the overall increase in population in this region has led to significant pressure on community resources with economic, social, and developmental consequences.

Refugee-hosting districts are recognized under the vulnerability criteria of Uganda’s National Development Plan III. It makes them a priority for development interventions and provides the opportunity to engage various actors to comprehensively respond to the needs. Thus enabling local governments to plan for and deliver government services adequately and sustainably to refugees and host community populations in Northern Uganda is key.

The programmes targets a total of 32,000 beneficiaries and seven district local governments.


Strengthening local authorities capacities (objective 1)

This component supported the District Local Governments and the Lower Local Governments at an institutional level. Among others, it:   

  • Conducted Land Cover Change and Land Suitability Analysis in West Nile.
  • Supported the development of District development plans
  • Conducted 16 Village capacity building on their Climate Adaptation Plan that aimed at promoting climate-smart technologies for resilient and sustainable livelihoods of the refugee and host communities
  • Supported District Local Governments with development of project proposals to raise external funding. (e.g., decentralized climate adaption fund and three rural health centers in Moyo received solar powered systems.)
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Abau Mary, a goat beneficiary of the GIZ RISE project in Rhino camp refugee settlement, Terego District - Credit: Tumuhairwe Diana Sharone

Increased economic self reliance (objective 2)

Component 1: Activities to train and impart demand driven and market-oriented skills are carried out to enable youth (aged between 15-35 years, 50% of them being refugees and 70% women) to sustainably improve their income eventually leading to economic empowerment.

  • 3166 beneficiaries  skilled
  • 1044 beneficiairies found employment after skills training
  • 1050 realised change in income by 30%
  • 31 Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises supported to improve business processes.
  • 316 beneficiaries (58% female) are operating income generating activities following entrepreneurship and business skills training
  • 118 youth set up self-employment enterprises following the internship and life skills training.

Component 2: Increased production and income from agricultural activities intervention

  • 465 inclusive farming group formed
  • 3,956 farmers linked to markets in the sunflower, sesame, vegetable, and soybean value chains
  • 14,582 farmers trained in good agricultural practices and climate smart agriculture and supported with small scale inputs and tools
  • Beneficiaries saved a total of 3,376,070,500 UGX (2020&2021)
  • 7,600 goats provided to the farmers multiplied to 12,062 goats, 1,269 were sold earning for the farmers 121,681,750UGX
  • Farmers harvested 121,960.2kgs of rice from 427.2acres of land, 16,442kgs was consumed and 105,518.2kgs was sold
  • Beneficiaries of sunflower cumulatively harvested and sold 178,149kgs of grain earning income of 213,778,800UGX from 371.75 acres of land
  • Farmers harvested 22,800 kg of onions from 48 acres of land and sold at an average 2500 UGX. This has generated an income of 57,000,000UGX
  • 113 farmer field school groups formed with 4,925 farmers/beneficiaries


The RISE programme is structured around three projects:

  • GIZ implements  the specific objectives 1 (SO1) and 2 (SO2).
  • An NGO consortium led by Action Against Hunger (ACF) and gathering Norwegian Refugee council, Welt Hunger Hilfe, ACF and Palm corps implements SO2.
  • CARE Implements a component on emergency preparedness of a selected district local governments (to prepare for possible future forced displacement).

The interventions are coordinated with the Ministry of Local Government, the Office of the Prime Minister and UNHCR.

Implementing organisations

GIZ, Action Against Hunger, CARE