today's Pick
Donors resume funding to Uganda Red CrossPublish Date: Apr 15, 2014
Donors resume funding to Uganda Red Cross
  • mail
  • img
Former URC boss Michael Richard Nataka was last year sacked from URCS after Police and Uganda Revenue Authority recovered smuggled goods from his home in Munyonyo.
newvision

By Raymond Baguma

Donors have resumed funding to the Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS) following reassurance that measures have been put in place to avoid mistakes in which the leaders were implicated in abuse of office.


This comes after the former general secretary Richard Nataka was last year sacked from URCS after Police and Uganda Revenue Authority recovered smuggled goods from his home in Munyonyo. A probe later led to the dissolving of the entire board of directors of URCS.

On Tuesday, Ken Odur, the agency’s interim secretary general said following the scandals that hit the humanitarian agency, in October last year donors halted their support which affected some new projects that were slated to begin.

Odur said at the time of suspension of donor support, there were ongoing projects for which funds had been released, while commitment for funding had been made for other projects.

“New projects were most affected,” Odur said in an interview  on Monday. Some of the affected projects included a US$2.5 million Norwegian government-funded project as well as another one supported by the United States Government on disaster risk reduction in urban areas.

According to Odur, donors provide 90 percent of revenues to support URCS. The URCS has 364,000 members who include volunteers and staff, making it the leading humanitarian agency in Uganda.

“But the volunteers continued to work as if nothing had happened. For the contractors, we assured them that we would do everything possible that there would be resumption of funding,” added Odur.

“Over the last couple of months, we have demonstrated to our donors the steps taken. And by the end of March, they (donors) stated that they would resume funding of our activities,” Odur said.

He said that donors have resumed partial funding to cover fixed costs which include staff salaries. Full funding will be restored when a forensic audit is completed and a report issued next month (May).

Odur said that the agency has implemented reforms set by donors, which culminated into the resumption of funding. The conditions include putting in place accountability mechanisms some of which include regular board meetings, and timely submission of monthly reports as opposed to quarterly reports.

On Tuesday, the Chinese Red Cross Society donated an assortment of equipment to their Ugandan counterparts. The equipment valued at sh1.8 billion included desktop computers, laptops, power backup systems, photocopiers, fax machines, printers, water pumps, blankets and towels.

Present at the handover of the equipment was the minister of disaster preparedness Hillary Onek, and Zhao Yali the Chinese ambassador to Uganda.

The donation is in line with an existing cooperation agreement between the Uganda Red Cross Society and the Chinese Red Cross. The equipment will be delivered to the 51 branches of the URCS countrywide.

A memorandum of understanding was signed on 15th May 2013 in which China undertook to support URCS for three years in disaster risk reduction, community resilience, first aid, water and sanitation, improving livelihoods and capacity building.

Ambassador Yali advised the equipment be used for its intended purpose to build capacity and enhance effectiveness in delivering humanitarian services to needy communities. The ambassador said every year China provides short-term training opportunities to URCS officials to support capacity building.

Minister Onek said the past mistakes by URCS management had eroded the donors’ confidence. However the Chinese donation is a sign of the regained confidence.

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Muslim cleric calls for ‘a life for life’ punishment
A life for life, eye for eye was of the the Old Testament. But a Muslim cleric Sheik Suleiman Kakeeto of the Amir Daulah Muslim group, expressed sentiments that the practise should be reinstated....
Alarm soared in west Africa Monday over the deadliest Ebola virus outbreak yet, with an American doctor and a missionary contracting the disease in Liberia and the death of the first victim from Sierra Leone's capital Freetown...
Judge warns government on impunity
THE head of the land division of the High Court, Justice Wilson Kwesiga, has warned government over impunity, saying the judges were writing ‘painful’ judgments...
Makerere University admits 21,000 students: Full list
Makerere University has released the list of students admitted under the private sponsorship programme....
NRM neutral on cultural institutions, says Museveni
Baleka bye basanidde okukola, nebakola byebatasanidde kukola, namazima tegali mubo (They left undone what they ought to have done and did that they ought not to have done and there is no truth in them)....
US firm to deliver HIV/AIDS services in Uganda
The US Government has contracted an American firm to implement HIV/AIDS programs in Uganda after terminating its partnership with the Inter Religious Council of Uganda (IRCU) for backing the anti-gay law....
Should voters be given poer to recall their MPs?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter