Uganda is a mountainous country that straddles the equator. It has an abundance of fertile farmland and 85 percent of the people are subsistence farmers. In 1997, half of Uganda's population lived below the poverty line. Uganda was also one of the first African nations to be affected by the HIV and AIDS crisis. Extreme poverty has hindered the government's ability to halt the devastating affects of the AIDS epidemic on the people of Uganda.
In the early 1980's, Uganda was a refuge for emigrants from the war-torn nations of Rwanda and the Congo. Today Rwandan and Sudanese refugees continue to settle in western and northern Uganda. Additionally, residents of northern Uganda continue to face threats by the Lord's Resistance Army, a rebel terrorist group that targets civilians and acts as a drain on government resources.