US gives Uganda sh 309 billion for food aid in Karamoja 

The United States is providing more than USD 82 million in new humanitarian assistance in Uganda through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. Department of State.

This additional funding, composed of USD 21 million in emergency food aid provided through USAID and over USD 61 in humanitarian assistance through the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration will help to meet the emergency needs of the people of Uganda, exacerbated by a global food crisis and regional conflict.

Part of USAID’s funding will support communities in the Karamoja Sub-Region, which is experiencing a harsh drought on the heels of damaging floods and landslides that took a crushing toll on many in the region.

 More than half a million people in Karamoja are going hungry, and more than half of all children are severely malnourished and in need of urgent nutrition assistance in the worst-affected areas.

The support, to be channelled through the World Food Programme (WFP) will target households in sub-counties that are facing emergency levels of food insecurity and acute malnutrition with a goal of providing 1,508 metric tons of food commodities, composed of cereals, pulses and vegetable oil to cover three months of assistance.

It will also enable WFP to implement a supplementary feeding program to prevent malnutrition among 11,120 individuals in districts with critical levels of acute malnutrition, which include the Moroto, Kaabong and Amudat.  

USAID will provide a total of 1,100 metric tons of Super Cereal Plus, a fortified blended food designed to prevent and treat malnutrition, to pregnant and lactating women, and children under five.

WFP will also procure 208.5 metric tons of Ready to Use Supplementary Food, a highly fortified paste.  USAID will reach 23,170 children under five suffering from moderate acute malnutrition and located across the nine districts of Karamoja.

Part of the funding will reach 1.4 million refugees with monthly portions of beans, maize grain, and vegetable oil; and cash for purchasing food staples from local markets, as well as provide newly arrived refugees with hot meals at transit and reception centres.  

The announcement comes as a climax of a visit to Uganda by the Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration Julieta Valls Noyes.

 While in Uganda, Assistant Secretary Noyes met with international organization partners and with Ugandan government officials to discuss the recent refugee influx from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and to coordinate humanitarian priorities for the over 1.5 million refugees hosted in Uganda.   

She also visited refugee settlements to hear directly from refugees about their health, livelihood, education, and protection needs while hosted in Uganda. From the visits, it was established that a confluence of crises has pushed many Ugandans and refugees towards a hunger crisis. 

Uganda hosts more than 1.5 million refugees fleeing conflict in neighbouring countries, particularly the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan – making it the top refugee-hosting country in Africa. Most refugees in Uganda rely on humanitarian food assistance to meet their daily needs.

Funding through the Department of State, PRM, will include nearly USD 41 million to the United Nations Refugee Agency and USD 20 million to other programs supporting essential services such as health, education, protection, and income-generating activities for refugees, asylum seekers, and other vulnerable persons hosted in Uganda.

This additional assistance will provide lifesaving services to both protracted refugees and the growing number of new arrivals. Since the start of 2022, Uganda has received over 70,000 new refugee arrivals from the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan.

The latest announcement brings U.S. funding to nearly USD 170 million in the Fiscal Year 2022 alone. A portion of today’s funding for Uganda is part of the USD 2 billion in USAID humanitarian assistance announced by President Biden on June 27 and is included in the Ukraine supplemental.

It is immediately being programmed in the Fiscal Year 2022 to address the dire impacts of the global food security crisis through direct food assistance and related health, nutrition, protection, and water, sanitation, and hygiene services in countries with high levels of acute food insecurity, reliance on Russian and Ukrainian imports, and vulnerability to price shocks. 

This is in addition to USAID’s ongoing commitment to strengthening Uganda’s resilience and food systems in the face of global shocks.

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