Geography and people

Uganda is a small, landlocked country on the equator in East Africa. It is known as the Pearl of Africa because of its beauty.

Flat highlands run throughout most of the country and a lush river valley sits in the northeast. Uganda has four large lakes, including Lake Victoria, the world’s fourth largest lake.

About 80 percent of Ugandans work in agriculture, growing crops such as cotton, corn, tea and coffee. Natural resources include copper, cobalt, hydropower, limestone and salt.

Over 50 ethnic groups live in Uganda. Ugandans speak English – the official language used in schools, government and media. Swahili, Luganda and other languages are also spoken.

Map of Uganda


Life expectancy

Life expectancy

Literacy rate

Literacy rate

Access to safe water

Access to safe water

Average annual income

Average annual income

School enrollment

School enrollment

Fast facts


Although the LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army) and the Government of Uganda reached a ceasefire in 2006, violence has left a mark on Uganda’s northern districts. More than 30,000 children were abducted by the LRA to train as soldiers and about 1.8 million people fled their homes to escape the violence.


High unemployment rates and food insecurity face most Ugandans, especially in rural areas. About half the population lives below the poverty line. Many communities face chronic hunger. The 2011 Uganda Demographic Health Survey estimates that 33 percent of children under five are stunted from malnutrition.


Health concerns also threaten Ugandans. Malaria, respiratory infections and diarrhea are primary causes of death. More than 1.5 million people are living with HIV and AIDS and more than 1 million children have lost one or both parents to the disease (UNICEF, 2012).

Our focus in Uganda

World Vision is committed to partnering with the people of Uganda to improve their lives today and to help deliver sustainable solutions for the future of their children, families and communities. Our child sponsorship programme plays a vital role in this partnership, with donors from the United Kingdom sponsoring 3,847 girls and boys (as of April 2014) across two community projects. In addition to sponsorship, World Vision operates other programmes that benefit communities in Uganda.
Highlights of our work include:

Expanding access to healthcare and reducing the spread of HIV and AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.

Training village health teams in districts than reach thousands of mothers and caregivers with key health and nutrition information.

Improving the quality and access to primary school education, including in the poorest and most remote parts of the country such as the north eastern region of Karamoja.

Training local authorities to be better able to support communities in adapting to challenges of climate change.

Our Achievements in Uganda

World Vision’s work began in Uganda in 1972, with the National Office opening in 1985. Since 1972, some of World Vision’s major accomplishments include:

Community development

Training farmers, developing clean water facilities, increasing public health and hygiene awareness and improving nutrition and food production during the 1980s.


Offering education and vocational skills training to children who have lost one or both parents to HIV and AIDs since the 1990s.

Child protection

Providing former child soldiers with counselling and helping to reunite them with their families through the 1990s and early 2000s.


Pray for our work in Uganda »