EU commits UGX 8.3 Bn to Uganda’s COVID-19 response

The European Union (EU) delegation in Uganda has announced a grant of 8.35 billion Shillings (Euros 2 million) towards the country’s COVID-19 pandemic response.

Ambassador Attilio Pacifici, the Head of Delegation of the European Union (EU) to Uganda made the revelation to Uganda Radio Network-URN on the sidelines of the Human Rights Defenders Award event held at the residence of the Swedish Ambassador to Uganda, Per Lindgärde on Thursday.

The Ambassador said that the money is going to be channeled through Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) as grants to complement the government’s efforts. He noted that more efforts are needed to address issues of domestic violence which increased during the lockdown and availability of face masks, among others

Pacifici said that after developing the Concept Note, the EU will call for proposals from CSOs and then release the funds. Asked how long the process is going to take for money to be released, Pacifici said that it is a matter of weeks.

He added that their response is also targeting the private sector which has been severely been hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, the United States Mission to Uganda through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has also availed additional funding to fight the desert locusts infestation that is threatening Eastern and Northeastern Uganda.

According to the Embassy, the US Dollars 134,862 investment will support the Government of Uganda to take measures against the infestation and its devastating impacts on people’s livelihoods and food security. The locust outbreak has affected farming and cattle herding communities in Karamoja, Teso, Acholi, and Lango regions in recent months.

Through its Feed the Future program, USAID will train officials in the national and district governments and the communities they serve to perform intensive desert locust control and surveillance activities to detect and reduce locust populations, prevent more swarms from forming and avoid the swarms spreading to other areas.

The Mission says that diligent and effective action to control and reduce the desert locust infestation is key to preventing households from falling deeper into poverty and facing hunger. According to the US Mission, the locust outbreak poses a serious threat to over 1.3 million people in Uganda.

“We are concerned about the well-being of the farmers and rural populations in eastern Uganda who are in danger of facing hunger as a result of destroyed crops and livelihoods. The activity will provide immediate assistance to the government of Uganda to prevent the spread of locust swarms and mitigate their disastrous impact on people’s lives,” says USAID country director Richard Nelson.