The youth can be turned into an asset for sustainable development through targeted interventions
Minister Sarah Kwiyucwiny (center) Danish Ambassador Mogens Pedersen (left) and UNFPA country representative, Alain Sebenaler, at the Launch of the project.
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) with support from the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Denmark have launched a sh48b empowerment project in the refugee hosting districts of Northern Uganda.
With numerous reports indicating increasing vulnerability of people living in refugee host communities, the five-year project launched at the Boma Grounds in Arua Municipal Council is expected to empower women and young people in the region to contribute to the development of their communities.
Unlike a number of interventions in the region, the project code-named WAY (Women, Adolescents and Youth) is targeting both refugees and host community populations.
Speaking during the launch, the UNFPA Country Representative, Alain Sibenaler explained that the programme interventions are based on an integrated approach to gender equality, sexual and reproductive health and rights, gender based violence prevention and response as well as social economic empowerment.
"We want to empower the most vulnerable young people and women to participate in decision making. It is critical in development to understand the needs of the population and respond accordingly," he said.
The youth according to the Danish Ambassador, Mogens Pedersen, can be turned into an asset for sustainable development through targeted interventions. This is what the project is aimed at achieving.
Uganda is currently the third largest refugee hosting country in the World with over 70% of these in West Nile. However as recently revealed by the Acting Commissioner for refugees in the Office of the Prime Minister, Gerald Menya, the current funding can only cater for 7% of the refugee needs. This has since increased social and economic vulnerability of both refugees and host community populations.