Acholi land was once known as the breadbasket of Uganda, but it is now the poorest part of the country. More than 900,000 people (over 80%) in the districts of Gulu, Kitgum and Pader are displaced, living in camps and dependent on
food handouts. The war has dragged on for 18 years, but since 2002 there has been a dramatic escalation resulting in more displacement, more abductions and more killings. The fact that this conflict has taken place in an area with no significant economic, commercial or geostrategic interests, together with the Government's insistence for years that this was a small internal conflict about to be finished, account for the fact that it has usually attracted little international attention and has not found its way into the international media. It is only after UN-undersecretary Jan Egeland's visit in November 2003 that finally Northern Uganda started featuring in international agendas.