The proportion of people living below the national poverty line has been reduced significantly, but rose again during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some 40 per cent of the people still have to live on less than 1.90 US dollars a day. Extreme poverty affects, in particular, women, people in rural areas and the population of the northern part of the country, which is structurally disadvantaged. There, the poverty rate is significantly above the national average. That is why Germany focuses its development cooperation activities primarily on Uganda's northern regions.
Far over half of the people have no access to the national power grid. Average life expectancy is 63 years. On the latest United Nations Human Development Index (HDI), Uganda ranks 166th out of 191 countries.
Many development achievements have been cancelled out by the effects of the high rate of population growth (3.2 per cent in 2021). The population more than doubled between 1998 and 2022, from 22.5 to 45.9 million. Uganda is among the countries with the youngest populations in the world. 45 per cent of the people are below the age of 15 – a vast challenge for the country. Among other things, about one million young job seekers are added to the labour market every year. The BMZ is responding to this challenge by addressing vocational training and employment promotion as overarching cross-cutting issues in all sectors of bilateral cooperation.
HIV and AIDS
The HIV infection rate, which, at the beginning of the 1990s, was about ten per cent of the sexually active population, has been significantly reduced thanks to an extensive prevention programme implemented by the government. According to figures published by UNAIDS, about 5.2 per cent of 15-to-49-year-olds were infected with HIV in 2021. It is estimated that some 1.6 million people have died of AIDS in Uganda since 1982.