Name of sector: IYCF-E

Dates of deployment: 26 April – 24 May 2018

Reason for request:

Over 45,000 refugees from DRC have crossed into south-east Uganda in the last few months.  New arrivals are taken to a reception center while they await settlement on individual plots of land in Kyaka, Kyangwali and Nakivale refugee settlements.  The refugee hosting areas are under the supervision of the OPM Camp Commandant and health, nutrition, shelter and other services are implemented through partnership agreements between UNHCR and NGO partners.  WFP is responsible for providing food assistance through direct implementation and nutrition support to the refugees using the UNHCR identified partners in the settlements.  The refugees arriving from DRC often have large families with multiple children under the age of five.  Many refugees faced traumatic event before and during flight and in some cases that trauma and dislocation has led to disrupted breast feeding as well as inadequate infant and young child feeding.  Refugees stay at the reception centers between 1-5 days and often child feeding further deteriorates.  Once assigned to land plots, refugees are expected to build shelter, collect food and take care of basic needs- including cooking, finding domestic fuel and collecting water.  The partners on the ground have confirmed that IYCF practices are fairly poor, that hygiene and sanitation practices are not to standard and that there is a need to focus on caregiving and young child feeding to improve nutrition and health outcomes.

The IYCF-E Adviser was requested to strengthen the delivery of the IYCF-E response through the provision of senior leadership, technical support and capacity building including direct training to nutrition staff in the refugee settlements during an in-country deployment to Uganda to support WFP and UNHCR IYCF-E activities.

Key achievements: 

  1. Settlement Assessment: Contact points throughout the settlement lifecycle were examined through an IYCF-E perspective. Meetings were held with key implementing partners and IYCF activities were mapped. Focus group were conducted with pregnant and lactating women and lead mothers in the settlements. Results of this overview were compiled in a comprehensive IYCF settlement Report
  2. An evidence based IYCF-E response/action plan was developed based on the results of the settlement assessment. This was developed during a two-day workshop with key stakeholders. From this a multi-sector minimum package of IYCF-E interventions was developed and elaborated in the report. These results were based on the UNHCR/Save the Children IYCF-E framework and coordinated with the MoH and UNICEF’s nutrition in emergencies response plan.
  3. Twenty partners, including UN agencies, OPM, district health officials and NGO implementing partners were trained on IYCF-E and how to implement the IYCF-E response plan as well as how to implement IYCF-E specific activities in the settlements. This includes key IYCF messages, logistical advice for IYCF corners and Indicators to be incorporated into IYCF reports.