By Umaru Kashaka
Legislators on the committee of gender, labour and social development have asked government to find additional funding of sh34.7b for the Youth Livelihood Programme (YLP) to be effective in the forthcoming financial year.
The programme under the ministry of gender will benefit youth in the age bracket of 18 to 30 years who are expected to form Youth Interest Groups of 10 to 15, with funds disbursed only to those with bankable project proposals.
Each group will be advanced interest -free loan of sh12m that will be payable in three years, although the ministry is considering giving a maximum of sh25m to groups with exceptional projects.
The hands-on projects expected to help youths to create self-employment include agro-processing, electrical repairs, metal fabrication, piggery, leather works and carpentry.
The phase 1 of the project has already commenced in 26 districts and Kampala Capital City Authority.
The MPs’ call is contained in their indicative budget allocations report on the gender ministry for the financial year 2014/2015 that is expected to be presented to the parliamentary committee on budget this week.
They noted that a total of sh53b was approved annually by Cabinet and parliament from the programme’s sh265b budget for the five years, but only sh19.25b was provided in the forthcoming financial year and the same amount in the medium-term.
“Consequently, the promises made by parliament and Cabinet cannot be fulfilled and the program cannot achieve all the targets that were envisaged from the onset,” the committee chaired Nakasongola Woman MP, Margaret Komuhangi stated.
The committee further recommended that Government prioritizes the programme especially to help eradicate poverty aware of the fact that youth form part of the country’s population.
YLP is in tandem with the National Development Plan (2010/11 to 2014/15), which identifies promotion of non-formal skills, start-ups and youth entrepreneurship as part of the strategies to address the challenges of youth unemployment