Uganda IDP Figures Analysis

IDMC estimates that there were 29,776 internally displaced people in Uganda as of May 2015.


The source of this figure is UNHCR (UNHCR, 6 January 2012). At the end of 2011, UNHCR handed over the responsibility for compiling statistics on IDPs to the Ugandan authorities (UNHCR, 6 January 2012). Since then there has been no new assessment since UNHCR closed its operations in Northern Uganda in 2011. The Government of Uganda continues to gather data, but it does not use a standardised methodology, and estimates are not usually disaggregated by age and sex (Brookings-LSE, November 2011).

IDMC’s estimate includes only those people displaced by the conflict between the Ugandan armed forces and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) that received assistance from UNHCR as the data was compiled by humanitarian organisations and government agencies present in in camps and transit areas. The figures do not include IDPs living in rural host communities or those who have fled to urban areas. Urban IDPs have only recently started to gain recognition as internally displaced by some national authorities. Previously, they were considered to be economic migrants or former IDPs who have achieved a durable solution (OJRS, December 2011).

The vast majority of IDPs in Uganda have returned home since the end of the conflict, although many of the hundreds of thousands of former IDPs who have now returned to their home areas are still in the process of finding a durable solution to their displacement. The number of people remaining displaced by the LRA conflict has fallen since December 2011 (IDMC interviews with UCHR, September 2013), but according to the Uganda Human Rights Commission there are still only four displacement camps open; in Ngomoromo in Lamwo district, Mucwini in Kitgum district, Corner Agula in Gulu district and Arum in Agago district (IDMC interviews with UCHR, September 2013).

In light of the lack of recent data, a detailed assessment is needed to establish the number of IDPs still living in and outside of camps, and to better understand their vulnerabilities and their individual reasons for not returning to their places or origin.

Finally, this estimate does not include Ugandans displaced in relation to disasters associated with slow- or sudden-onset natural hazards.

IDMC uses only the most credible accurate information available. Notwithstanding the caveats and limitations of the source information described above, IDMC believes this to be the best data and is grateful to the partners for sharing it.