Uganda: The world’s fastest growing refugee crisis

Actress and Save the Children ambassador Joely Richardson talks about the plight of South Sudanese refugee children she met in Uganda, on ITV's Lorraine show. 

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Every minute a child is fleeing unimaginable violence in South Sudan. The escalating conflict, drought and famine has forced nearly one million people into neighbouring Uganda.

Over 500,000 children have escaped. They are arriving terrified, hungry and often alone.

Our CEO Kevin Watkins, who recently met refugees on the border said:

“The numbers are extraordinary – at times up to 3000 people flood over the border each day, the majority are women and children. 

It's fast becoming the largest African refugee displacement since the Rwandan genocide.” 

With the huge influx of arrivals, vital services in refugee camps are at breaking point. 

How we're helping families fleeing to Uganda:

  • We’re delivering emergency schooling to refugees, constructing permanent class rooms and delivering top up classes for those who have fallen behind.
  • We're running child friendly spaces to provide a safe place for children to play and recover from the distressing experiences they've been through.
  • We’ve deployed our emergency health team to provide life-saving primary health care to the refugee population, treating children for diseases like malaria.

But we urgently need to do more. 

Donate to our Emergency Fund today to help child refugees and other children in emergencies around the world.

How your money could help:

£2.50 could pay for a measles vaccination for a child caught up in an emergency.
£12.00 could buy a child's schoolbag kit containing essential learning equipment such as exercise books and stationery.
£20.00 could provide a child with a safe place to play for one year.

Exodus and Stella's story


Stella fled South Sudan with her four children after her husband was killed. They had to leave everything behind.

Baby Exodus, six months old, arrived with his mother Stella four months ago to Bidi Bidi camp in North Uganda. Stella’s parents are still in South Sudan.

Baby Exodus had been ill for three days with a cough, vomiting and fever.

He was brought to Save the Children’s mobile health clinic where he was diagnosed with malaria and provided with the vital treatment needed to nurse him back to health. He was also given routine childhood vaccinations to protect him from further diseases.

Stella renamed her baby ‘Exodus’ after their flight. 


Support children fleeing conflict through our Emergency Fund:

Donate NowDonate by

Or call 0800 8148 148 to donate by phone

*Names changed to protect identities.

Updated: June 2017