More than 90 percent of households in Kotido District are chronically food insecure, the December 2008 report from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs indicates.
According to the report, a draft early warning systems assessment warns that although general food distribution by the UN and the Ugandan government continues, households in Kotido and Abim are on the brink of starvation. A taskforce has been established to investigate the causes of the food insecurity and chaos that prevented food distribution to the districts in November, prompting the famine.
The food shortage in the Karamoja region has spread west, affecting households in Pader district.
The UN report notes that a number of food security shocks were experienced in the district in 2008 because of water logging in the areas of Lunyiri Puranga and Omot, and the hailstorms in Parabongo and Wol.
Although the report praises government for implementing a series of developmental programs in Karamoja, it calls for more attention in the areas of economic sustainability and health.
Health facilities in Karamoja are mainly provided through mobile Village Health Teams. However these are in short supply. In Kaabong, for instance, there are on average 95 households per one Village Health Team. In the sub-counties of Sidok, Kalapata and Loyoro, there are no Village Health Teams at all.