WORLD BANK INJECTS US$130 MILLION IN NORTHERN UGANDA TO FIGHT POVERTY THROUGH SOCIAL ACTIONS

“This is the justification of NUSAF III. 35.2% of the people of Gulu are still poor, 61% are “insecure none-poor” while only 4% of the people of northern Uganda are in the middle income category despite the several interventions by government;

GULU-UGANDA: The World Bank has injected a total of US$130 million to “fight poverty” in the 56 districts of greater Northern Uganda through the Northern Uganda Social Action Fund (NUSAF) III in the next five years.

This was revealed by Mr. Geoffrey Akena, an official of NUSAF III secretariat during a sensitization workshop for district councilors of Gulu and Omoro districts, held at the Gulu district council hall, Wednesday September 7, 2016.

He said according to a survey conducted in 2012 by NUSAF II secretariat, poverty in Northern Uganda still stood at 35.2%, West Nile at 42% and in Karamoja sub-region, it stood at 72.3%, although nationally poverty was at only 24%.

“This is the justification of NUSAF III. 35.2% of the people of Gulu are still poor, 61% are “insecure none-poor” while only 4% of the people of northern Uganda are in the middle income category despite the several interventions by government”, says Akena.

A poor person is defined as someone who lives on less than one dollar per day.

NUSAF III document stipulates that about 599,100 households (about three million people) will benefit from the various interventions of the project. While 499,000 households (about 2.5 million people) are targeted to earn income from temporary employment through the Labor Intensive Public Works (LIPW) component and about 100,000 households (about 500,500 beneficiaries) will directly receive grants for Livelihood Investment Support (LIS).

46.9% of the fund (US$ 61 million) will go towards Labor Intensive Public Works (LIPW) and Disaster Risk Financing (DRF) while 33.5% (US $43.5 million) will be spent on Improved Household Income Support Program and Sustainable Livelihood Pilot.

Akena says the third NUSAF will use the Watershed Based Development approach to implement LIPW and DRF.

LIPW provides temporary employment to the participating poor and vulnerable households and finance unconditional transfers to poor and vulnerable households that have no adult able-bodied members to participate in. The project plans to create sustainable community assets and rehabilitate the environment through watershed development.

LIPW sub-project is undertaken by unskilled persons with the ability to work and is seeking employment, committing 70% of the project budget on labor cost.

Watershed based development is the rational utilization of all the natural resources for optimum production to fulfill the present need with minimal degradation of Natural resources such as land, water and environment. Water shed is taken as any surface area from which runoff resulting from rainfall is collected and drained through a common confluence point.

“We are going to encourage compulsory savings. The people of northern Uganda have been given free money for too long. If we give a group 10 million shillings, we want to know and see how much you have saved after one year of operation”, says Akena.

According to Ms. Caroline dong, a councilor from Omoro district, NUSAF III will not achieve much as most of the targeted youths using LIPW fund have poor work ethics because of drug and alcohol abuse.

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