Funding Will Support the Largest Refugee Population on the African Continent

(Portland, OR) October 2, 2023 – Medical Teams International is grateful to the U.S. Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) for its award of $3.25 million USD to support Medical Teams’ ongoing work providing comprehensive and timely medical care to refugees and host populations in Uganda.

As of August 31, 2023, there were 1,556,750 refugees and asylum seekers in Uganda from South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Burundi, Somalia, Rwanda and other countries. This number continues to grow as unrest in the region shows little sign of abating. Due to the influx of refugees, the Uganda national health system is stretched to the limit, with understaffing of medical professionals and inadequate equipment and supplies at facilities. Responding to an Ebola virus disease outbreak in 2022 and early 2023, along with rebuilding after the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have continued to stretch the refugee response.

The PRM funding will support primary healthcare activities, including critical maternal and child health, nutrition, and community-based interventions. It will also enable the hiring of additional key staff and support the construction and rehabilitation of health facilities and office structures, bolstering Medical Teams’ programmatic activities throughout the region.

Medical Teams currently reaches a population of more than 1,100,000 refugees and Ugandans in host communities. This will be the third year of a three-year project. It covers Medical Teams’ entire operational area, numbering over 65 health facilities and more than 1,700 staff.

“Medical Teams in Uganda is very grateful for our continuing partnership with PRM,” said Jason Evans, Medical Teams Country Director for Uganda. “This award is crucial in meeting urgent humanitarian needs at a time of significant funding constraints being faced by Uganda’s refugee response organizations.”

Medical Teams began operation as a non-governmental organization in northern Uganda in 2004 during the time of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) insurgency. During this period, Medical Teams provided for the basic health needs of displaced populations and returned communities in collaboration with local health staff, volunteer community health workers, and expatriate medical volunteers. Medical Teams Uganda has since transformed programming to focus on providing life-saving primary health care to refugees and vulnerable host national populations in both sudden and protracted emergency contexts.

As a fully registered non-governmental organization in Uganda, Medical Teams operates in the West Nile, southwest, and western regions of Uganda. Since 2009, institutional funding through partnerships with the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), Uganda Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), EU Civil Protection and European Aid (ECHO) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have helped Medical Teams implement more than $35 million USD of primary health care programs, HIV and AIDS education and testing, child and maternal health programs, malaria prevention and treatment, and emergency response programs for refugee and displaced populations throughout Uganda. The PRM funding is supplemental and complementary to Medical Teams’ existing partnership and funding through UNHCR and ECHO. The proposed activities complement the UNHCR scope.

About Medical Teams International

Founded in 1979, Medical Teams International provides life-saving medical care for people in crisis, such as survivors of natural disasters and refugees. We care for the whole person— physical, emotional, social and spiritual. Daring to love like Jesus, we serve all people—regardless of religion, nationality, sex or race. Learn more at medicalteams.org and on social media using @medicalteams.

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