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Saturday,August 08,2020 03:23 AM

Districts want more money for women fund

By Andrew Ssenyonga

Added 29th August 2017 08:02 AM

“There are many women who have expressed interest through filling the loan requesting forms."

“There are many women who have expressed interest through filling the loan requesting forms."

LOCAL GOVERNMENT

District leaders have asked government to increase the funds earmarked for the women entrepreneurship programme.

Pader district chairperson Godfrey Oringa said they were overwhelmed by the large number of women groups who keep showing interest for the fund each day.

"There are many women who have expressed interest through filling the loan requesting forms and this is attributed to poverty which has worsened the situation of the women especially in rural areas," he said.

George Egunyu, the Soroti district chairperson said the women have exercised the commitment to pay back the fund unlike most of the youth who run away after getting the low interest loans.

"It will give more fruits than the youth fund; the women are more positive and developmental. So more funds should be injected to cater for more groups," he said.

William Komakech, the RDC Kitgum district said, "due to the timely recovery; this means there will be more money in circulation for more groups to benefit."

According to ministry's statistics, out of the total sh1.7b that was disbursed last financial year, sh110m was recovered by 131 projects representing 6.5% recovery.

The district leaders sounded the call during the two-day social development sector review meeting organized by the Ministry of Gender at Hotel Africana in Kampala yesterday.

Brenda Kifuko Malinga, the women fund national programme coordinator, said that this financial year, government has earmarked sh40b for the fund.

"This will be able to benefit a total of 2,212 women groups with each group taking home a total of sh5m," she said.

She noted that out of the sh40b, sh11bn will go to 70 local governments that missed out in the last year's disbursement.

 

Peace Tibakuna who represented Bushenyi district chairperson said the program has improved livelihoods of women in the area.

"The scheme has brought smiles to faces of many women in the area and also equipped them with skills for enterprise growth, value addition and marketing of their products and services," she explained.

Government, as part of efforts to haul thousands of women from poverty through economic empowerment rolled out a revolving fund where women borrow from for non-agricultural activities.

The five-year project targets vulnerable women, unemployed, women with disabilities, women living with HIV/AIDS nd women in hard-to-reach areas.

The vice chairperson gender, labour and social development committee, Beatrice Anywar said the women have demonstrated willingness to revolve the fund and set up more developmental projects in the communities.

"As the committee work on such issues, we welcome the call and pledged to approve the budget when presented to them," she said.

Gender minister Janat Mukwaya said the security free loans have so far improved access of 30,828 women to financial credit.

Mukwaya however advised the community development officers to continue mobilizing women into saving and credit groups as the budget improve.

"Right now, it is difficult to increase the budget allocated for the women fund because government is undertaking a number of projects. Oncee the infrastructural development projects are done funds will be available for an increment," she explained.

The two day review is conducted along five thematic areas of community mobilization and empowerment, gender and women empowerment, labour, productivity and decent employment, social protection for the vulnerable and institutional capacity development.


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