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Government disburses sh111b to NUSAF groups

By Vision Reporter

Added 29th May 2007 03:00 AM

THE Government has so far disbursed sh111b for over 7,000 community projects under the Northern Uganda Social Action Fund (NUSAF).

THE Government has so far disbursed sh111b for over 7,000 community projects under the Northern Uganda Social Action Fund (NUSAF).

By Milton Olupot

THE Government has so far disbursed sh111b for over 7,000 community projects under the Northern Uganda Social Action Fund (NUSAF).

Out of the World Bank contribution, over three quarters has been accessed, or $79m out of $100m.

This was announced by David Wakikona, the state minister for Northern Uganda rehabilitation, during a press conference in Kampala yesterday.

The majority of the funds (sh65b), was spent on community development initiatives.

A total of 2,350 projects were approved in this category. Support to vulnerable groups got sh40b for 3,781 projects.

Another sh4b went to 846 projects in the field of community reconciliation and conflict management.

Information Minister Kirunda Kivejinja said the five-year project was meant to strengthen community participation, improve quality and access to social services, as well as build capacity.

He said the projects involved the provision of safe water, improved health and education coverage, road repairs and tree planting programmes.

NUSAF had resulted in higher house-hold incomes, an improved saving culture, better nutrition, the relief of trauma and the re-integration of formerly abducted children into the society, he emphasised.

The Permanent Secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office, Martin Odwedo, said allegations of corruption and embezzlement in NUSAF had been dealt with firmly.

“We have a number of people who have been dismissed and required to pay back the money, while others are facing prosecution,” he said.

NUSAF faced many challenges, minister Wakikona noted. He cited the overwhelming need due to rampant poverty, inadequate capacity for monitoring and supervision by local governments and the insecurity in the Acholi and Karamoja sub-regions.

He also pointed out that there was limited involvement of NGOs and the private sector in the implementation of the programmes, as well as delays in accountability by the districts.

Another challenge was posed by the creation of new districts.

“When the programme was designed, only 18 districts covered the area. Now, they have risen to 29 districts. This requires more facilitation in terms of vehicles and new administrative structures,” the minister said.

On the other Government programmes, Wakikona announced that the iron sheets for the IDPs had been delivered to the district headquarters and the guidelines for their distribution outlined.

He said people who had managed to construct walls could go to the offices of the resident district commissioners to get their iron sheets.

Wakikona re-assured the people in the North that the seeds provided by the Government were not genetically modified and would not cause impotence, as had been rumoured.

He revealed that the Northern Uganda Rehabilitation Programme would start in July 2007 and run to December 2009.

Another 500,000 pounds has been secured from the Commonwealth Secretariat for setting up a youth development centre in Gulu. The centre will create training opportunities for youth who missed formal education.

Other programmes for the North include the Peace, Recovery and Development plan for Northern Uganda.

This is aimed at supporting the on-going political dialogue, the return and resettlement of IDPs, the Police, prisons and judiciary, the demobilisation of auxiliary forces, production and marketing as well as the rehabilitation of infrastructure.

The ministers also said the Government and the European Union had signed an agreement to implement the project on Agricultural Livelihoods Recovery Project for Northern Uganda, aimed at modernising agriculture and increasing productivity.

Government disburses sh111b to NUSAF groups

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