The second country where ACF Missions operates is Uganda. Uganda is located in East Africa and lies across the equator. The nations that border Uganda include Congo in the west, Sudan in the north, Kenya in the east, and Tanzania and Rwanda in the south. The southern border also includes Lake Victoria. The country became independent from Great Britain on October 9, 1962, and occupies a land area of 77,108 sq mi (199,710 sq km) with a total area of 91,135 sq mi (236,040 sq km).
The estimated population of Uganda in 2012 is about 34 million and comprises two broad linguistic ethnic groups. The Bantu-speaking majority live in the central, southern, and western parts of the country. This group includes historically the central Buganda kingdom, the Busoga states, east of Buganda, and the smaller kingdoms of Bunyoro, Nkore, and Toro in the west. The second broad of the linguistic/ethnic group includes the non-Bantu speaking areas in the east, north, and northwestern part of the country. They are broadly classified as the Nilotic and Central Sudanic people and include the Iteso, Langi, Acholi, Alur, Karamojong, Jie, Madi, and Lugbara in the north and a number of other smaller groups in the eastern part of Uganda.
Poverty and the devastating effect of HIV/AIDS are the major challenges faced by the people of Uganda today. Decades of tribal conflicts have further increased poverty in Uganda, especially in the northeastern part of the country.
Although Uganda has one of the fastest growing economies in Africa since 2000, the country is relatively poor and ranked 157 out of 182 countries in United Nations Development Program’s (UNDP) 2009 Human Development Index. UNDP estimates that 51.1 percent of Ugandans live on less than $1.25 a day. The recent economic growth has benefited most people in the urban area with the majority of the population heavily dependent on agriculture, especially in rural areas.
HIV/AIDS has left a devastated landmark in the country of Uganda. The prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Uganda reached a height of about 30% in the early 1990s and decreased to nearly 6.3% by 2004/2005. However, the gain made in the 1990s is being reversed—with an estimated prevalence rate of 7.3% in 2012 from recent studies.
As a result of the level of poverty and devastation caused by the civil war in the northeastern part of Uganda that left the country in ruins, ACF Missions chose to operate in the Kumi district and the Fort Portal area in the Western part of the country that has a high prevalence of HIV/AIDS. Frequent droughts witnessed by the northeastern region have also made subsistence agriculture an insecure means of livelihood, and consequently, left many people to suffer from hunger and malnutrition.
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