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469,737 new arrivals

July 1 - December 23, 2016

272,206 refugees relocated to Bidibidi

August - December 2016

86% of new arrivals

women and children

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Status: Active


In early July 2016, in the midst of South Sudan’s efforts to rebuild after decades of civil war and the last conflict of mid-December 2013, fighting broke out again in the capital city of Juba. Due to the increasing violence, scarcity of food, and financial instability (as of August 2016, inflation reached 660%) caused by the renewed fighting, many South Sudanese have been fleeing their country. Between July 1, 2016 and December 23, 2016, 469,737 of these refugees arrived in Uganda. Existing transit centers, reception centers, and refugee camps were overwhelmed with numbers exceeding their capacity, and Uganda’s Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) and the UNHCR decided on locations for additional refugee camps.

After planning sessions and site surveys with partner organizations, including RMF, the OPM and UNHCR decided to build Bidibidi Refugee Settlement near the South Sudanese border in the Yumbe district of West Nile, Uganda. The settlement was opened in early August 2016 and now hosts 272,206 refugees. RMF was named UNHCR Health Implementing Partner for the new settlement, and we were the first partner organization to arrive in Bidibidi. We immediately began treating people (about 1,000 workers were on-site and some were injured or sick) when we arrived on July 30, 2016, and the next day, July 31, 2016, RMF set up the first preliminary structures, i.e. tents, to serve as the settlement’s Reception Centre Health Clinic. Refugees began arriving in the camp on August 5, 2016. Between August 5, 2016 and August 31, 2016, 5,331 patients were treated at RMF’s health clinic.

Action Plan

RMF’s goal is to provide comprehensive primary healthcare services to the population of Bidibidi Refugee Settlement by establishing easily accessible, fully stocked, fully staffed health clinics and creating a robust health outreach program. RMF will also work to support Yumbe Hospital.

Health Clinics

Reception Centre Health Clinic

  • Operational since August 5, 2016
  • Open 24/7
  • Provides primary healthcare services
  • Provides referrals for secondary or tertiary care when needed

Bidibidi Health Clinic

  • Operational as a health outpost (housed in a tent)
  • Open during the day
  • Provides primary healthcare services

Iyete Health Clinic

  • Operational as a health outpost (no tent or shelter yet)
  • Open during the day
  • Provides primary healthcare services
Health Outreach Program

In addition to our stationary health clinics, RMF’s team is conducting health outreaches within the Bidibidi Refugee Settlement. These outreaches include:

  • Educating refugees on healthy living to prevent illness
  • Identifying long-term TB or HIV/AIDS patients for referral to Barakala Health Centre III


  • Sanitation concerns due to very few pit latrines; threat of cholera
  • Limited supplies of water and electricity
  • Very little infrastructure in the camp
  • Difficulties in acquiring enough staff and supplies to keep up with the large numbers of new arrivals

Ongoing Presence

Initially, RMF deployed a team of 22 medical and support staff to Bidibidi Refugee Settlement. We later increased our Bidibidi team to 41 staff members, and in October 2016, we were able to more than double our Uganda staff: we now have 267 medical and support staff members working in Bidibidi Refugee Settlement alone. As support and resources increase, RMF will continue to provide medical supplies, hire staff, build permanent health clinics, further support referral centers, and help residents of Bidibidi Refugee Settlement live healthy, thriving lives.

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