Last Updated: Thursday, 18 January 2018, 13:39 GMT

Field Level Memorandum of Understanding between United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (Branch Office Kampala) and United Nations Children's Fund (Uganda Country Office)

Publisher UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
Publication Date 14 February 1997
Cite as UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Field Level Memorandum of Understanding between United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (Branch Office Kampala) and United Nations Children's Fund (Uganda Country Office), 14 February 1997, available at: [accessed 18 January 2018]

I.    Introduction

1.         Following the Global MOU between UNICEF and UNHCR signed in 1996, the respective Branch offices in Uganda agreed to develop their own MOU, specific to the situation and needs of Uganda.

2.         As with the global agreement, this MOU recognizes the unique and sometimes separate functions of both organizations, but anticipates that collaboration in several areas (to be outlined in this document) will enhance the capacity of both organizations in delivering assistance to local and refugee populations within Uganda.

3.         This document will not attempt to repeat the basic principles of the global MOU, including descriptions of the agency responsibilities towards various populations, but will instead highlight the specific areas where close cooperation is already taking place in Uganda, or is envisioned to occur in future. More specific workplans will be developed in each area as and when appropriate.

4.         In view of UNHCR Uganda's unique position in assisting the majority of refugees in the country within a local settlement situation, integration is one of the key objectives of the assistance operations. This makes cooperation with UNICEF, anticipating an eventual handover of settlements to the Government of Uganda (GOU) authorities, even more essential. The phase out of UNHCR assistance will be significantly eased by involving UNICEF in all levels of activities from the onset.

II.  Types of Cooperation Activities

Support to Unaccompanied Children

5.         In the region, UNICEF has gained significant experience working with refugee children during recent emergencies, and thus will provide guidance/expertise to UNHCR to understand tracing/family reunification, deciding on the best assistance strategies, and assessing, evaluating and monitoring, the types of assistance provided. This will include formal workshops for training, and monitoring of field based training, as well as regular joint coordination meetings with implementing partners and relevant GOU officials. The agencies will also collaborate in ensuring that global guidelines/standards are adhered to in assistance for UAMs.

Addressing Community Psychosocial Needs

6.         Particular attention will given to assisting populations traumatized by armed conflict and violence. In several regions of Uganda, both local and refugee populations are included in this category and the agencies will work together to address their needs.

Support to Families, Children and Vulnerable Groups

7.         UNHCR supports community based activities, particularly in the refugee settlements of Uganda where populations are allowed more opportunity for self reliance. UNHCR will continue to benefit from UNICEF's experience in this area, particularly concerning the principles of community based rehabilitation, in working with vulnerable and disabled populations.

Addressing Gender Issues

8.         UNHCR and UNICEF will work closely in working to raise the awareness of communities regarding gender concerns, particularly in enhancing the capacity of women in leadership and decision making skills, and in economic empowerment.

Basic Education

9.         As indicated in the global MOU, UNHCR will continue to seek advice/guidance from UNICEF on provision of educational assistance (both formal and non-formal) for refugees. Specific areas where collaboration will proceed in Uganda include the following:

1).        Increasing Access to Education for Girls. UNHCR has developed a promotional campaign to tackle this problem, and will continue to coordinate with UNICEF as the campaign progresses.

2).        UNHCR will closely follow UNICEF developments in preparation of a Life Skills curriculum, and utilize this material in refugee affected areas. Life skills education is a critical component for successful work with adolescents, as it emphasizes skills required for productive, self-sufficient adult life (e.g. decision making, inter-personal relationships etc).

3).        UNICEF has already made significant progress in Uganda in working with the Ministry of Gender and Community Development (MGCD) in designing adult literacy materials in mother tongue languages for various ethnic groups. UNHCR will also work together with MGCD and UNICEF in introducing appropriate literacy materials to refugee affected areas.

4).        Peace Education/Conflict Resolution. Refugees, as well as many local populations in Uganda are heavily impacted by armed conflict and violence. UNHCR and UNICEF will work closely together in developing appropriate materials for integration into both formal and non-formal community education.


10.       The primary areas of collaboration envisioned within the health sector are safe motherhood, integrated management of childhood illness and HIV/AIDS awareness raising and education. Strengthening the capacity of community health workers to deliver effective health education will be a priority.

Water and Sanitation

11.       UNHCR will continue to seek technical guidance and support from UNICEF in developing essential water supply systems in refugee affected areas.

Repatriation and Reintegration

12.       As noted above, the unique situation of refugee settlements in Uganda, encourages very close cooperation with UNICEF from the onset, as plans for settlement handover need to be addressed as soon as possible. It is envisioned that as UNHCR assistance decreases gradually (when refugee self sufficiency increases), UNICEF input and support will become more critical to a successful phase out UNICEF can assist UNHCR in promoting an integrated approach to assistance, linking refugee assistance to local plans and priorities (i.e. at district and sub-country level), and ensuring that the main lines of this assistance are consistent with GOU policies and standards.

Public Information

13.       UNHCR and UNICEF have joint concerns regarding the dissemination and sharing of information with the media on issues relating to refugees, women and children. UNHCR and UNICEF in Uganda will continue to work together at both national and sub-national level to promote public awareness and of the work of each organization. Each agency has designated focal points for regular consultations in this respect.

III.General Conditions

14.       Nothing in this MOU shall affect the relations of either signatory to its Governing Body, nor the contractual relationship and administrative supervision of UNHCR and UNICEF to their operational partners.

15.       The implementation of the MOU will be in compliance with the respective administrative and financial rules and procedures of UNHCR and UNICEF and be subject to the availability of funds.

16.       This MOU will enter into force upon signature and shall be of indefinite duration.

17.       This MOU may be terminated by either party upon 90 days written notice.

18.       This MOU may be modified at any time by mutual consent of the parties.

19.       The Representatives of both organizations will meet when necessary to discuss policy issues and will nominate officers to meet regularly to review strategic and implementation issues of particular interest to both organizations and to propose possible courses of action to address them.

Signed for

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

United Nations Children's Fund



Mr. Ulf Kristoffersson 

Ms. Kathleen Cravero 



Branch Office Kampala

Uganda Country Office

Kampala Uganda, 14 February 1997


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