JICA's support to Northern Uganda was originally developed to aid Internally Displaced Persons' (IDP) return and resettlement to their original villages after 20years of living in IDP camps; through extending reconstruction assistance to the people of this area. After completion of the returning process for most of the IDPs, JICA continued supporting the former IDPs in resettling and re-establishing their lives in their communities in line with the Peace, Recovery and Development Plan of the Government of Uganda.
Through Reconstruction Assistance Program in Northern Uganda (REAP)'s objectives of revitalising conflict affected communities, strengthening local government capacities and reducing regional economic disparities between the north and other parts of Uganda, over the years JICA has previously and continues to implement several projects in the Acholi sub-region.
Project for Rural Road Network Planning in Northern Uganda (RRNPN) 2009 - 2011
In response to the pressing needs for rehabilitating roads, RRNPN developed a "Master plan of the rural road network in Amuru and Nwoya districts including a road operational and maintenance plan". It also implemented pilot projects of bridge and road construction in Nwoya and Amuru districts to enable people return to their original villages from the IDPs.
Project for Rural Road Network Development in Acholi Sub- Region (RRNDA) 2011 – 2012
Rolled out from the RRNPN (2009-2011), RRNDA (2011-2012) aimed at developing a rural road network development plan to include national roads, district roads as well as community access roads and focused on all the seven districts of Acholi sub-region. This will heighten the promotion of resettlement of IDPs by improving accessibility to social services and facilities.
Project for Social Infrastructure Development for Promoting Return and Resettlement of IDPs in Northern Uganda (INDEP) 2009 – 2012
This project is intended to revitalize conflict affected community of Acholi sub-region through construction and rehabilitation of roads and bridges in Acholi sub-region. The project comprised of 6 project sites in the districts of Gulu, Amuru, Nwoya, Agago and Lamwo.
Project for Community Reconstruction and Promotion of Resettlement of Former IDPs in their Original Villages (REPRE) 2012 - 2014
So as to strike a balance with the high rate of return and resettlement of former IDPs, JICA undertook this project which seeks to improve the lives of the returnees with improvement of basic infrastructure like construction of classrooms, teachers' houses, latrines, accessibility to safe water facilities for the pupils and proper roads to schools as well as construction of health facilities and supply of medical equipment.
Project for Provision of Improved Water Source for Returned IDPs in Acholi Sub-region (Acholi Water) 2013-2015 (Grant Aid)
The project targets: Construction and rehabilitation of about 70 water points (boreholes), Construction /Rehabilitation of 6 piped water systems in Rural Growth Centres (RGC), Supporting the capacity of Local Government on water point maintenance, and strengthening community based water management system.
Project for community Development for Promoting Return and Resettlement of IDPs (CDRET) 2009 – 2011
So as to enhance the administrative capacity and structure of local government in service delivery to communities, the CDRET project was conceived. It involved a multi-sectoral approach intervention which included opening up of community roads, drilling of boreholes, building of administrative blocks for sub county and district staff and promotion of agriculture in Amuru district before it was divided into Nwoya and Amuru.
Project for Capacity Development in Planning and Implementation of Community Development in Acholi Sub-region (ACAP) 2011-2015 (Technical Cooperation)
The project is intended to strengthen the mechanism for planning and implementation of community development in all seven Districts in Acholi Sub-region through capacity building of local governments in development planning and implementation, and sharing experiences and lessons learned among Districts.
Project for Capacity Development of Local Government for Strengthening Community Resilience in Acholi and West Nile Sub-regions (ACAP2) 2016-2021 (Technical Cooperation)
ACAP had attained strengthening capacity of local government in development planning in all seven Districts, and enhancing capacity of implementation of community development plan mainly in four Districts (Amuru, Pader, Kitgum, and Nwoya) in Acholi Sub-Region. In order to sustain planning capacity and to further strengthen implementation capacity of all seven Districts in Acholi Sub-Region, and to scale up ACAP to West Nile Sub-Region also in Northern Uganda, ACAP2 was formulated. West Nile Sub-Region is located at the border with South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo and many of the refugees get into West Nile Sub-Region. This new challenge has been started since June 2016.
Northern Uganda Farmers' Livelihood Improvement Project (NUFLIP) 2015-2020 (Technical Cooperation)
JICA's peace building effort is moving into the development phase. The project is focused on market oriented agriculture and aims to empower farmers by teaching them how to strategically grow and sell their produce. It also focuses on improving livelihoods through training sessions on family budgeting, nutrition, and gender. The project activities started in three Acholi districts: Gulu, Kitgum and Pader in 2016 and will spread to the remaining four districts during the five year period.
Addressing the Protracted Refugee Situation
In Uganda, JICA and international organizations including United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) cooperate to address the protracted problem of refugees and help refugees as well as their host communities aiming to attain the self-reliance and living with harmony. JICA and UNHCR have cooperated to offer training in rice cultivation techniques in Uganda to refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan as well as their host communities. Japan is determined to promote to strengthen humanitarian-development collaboration to address the protracted refugee situation in Uganda.