Document Type

Campus Access Research Paper

Publication Date



Helen Richardson, Class of 2018 at the University of Richmond, received the James W. Jackson Award for Excellence in the Social Sciences. Her research paper is entitled Responses of Faith-Based Organizations to Refugee Food Shortages in Kenya and Uganda.


The year 2017 saw an intensification of stress factors in the regions of the Horn of Africa and East Africa, causing widespread drought and famine in some areas. Global climate change’s intensification of the El Nino effect on Sub-Saharan Africa, increase in fighting in South Sudan, the drought in the Horn and East Africa, and insufficient funding for the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) and the United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) caused food shortages in Kenyan refugee camps and Ugandan refugee settlements, impacting over 1.3 million refugees (Okiror 2017; United Nations World Food Program 2017). In this paper, news content analysis of East African news articles and publications by faith-based organizations are used to investigate the response of faith-based organizations working with refugees in Kenya and Uganda to this crisis. This analysis reveals the many activities in which FBOs participate in Uganda and Kenya as well as in other countries impacts the issue selection of faith-based organizations, which diminishes the publishing of information on the refugee hunger crisis, except for the FBOs who are directly involved in the provision of food to refugees. Furthermore, the focus of FBOs on the need for funding and donor satisfaction appears to encourage organizations to act independently of each other, and only rarely mobilize the international issue network for joint advocacy and relief coordination.