The United States Mission in Uganda has provided additional funding of USD 10 million (37.8 billion Shillings) towards the country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chris Krafft, the Head of the U.S. Mission in Uganda said that the U.S Agency for International Development awarded the additional funding his week through GiveDirectly, a global NGO specialized in delivering digital cash transfers.
Krafft says that the money will support tens of thousands of vulnerable Ugandans who will receive direct cash grants of USD 25 (about 100,000 Shillings) a month per adult in the most affected communities over a period of three months. This is based on the fact that as government imposed lockdowns to limit the spread of COVID-19, many families were suddenly unable to continue earning a living.
According to the GiveDirectily website, each selected household will receive USD 60–75 USD in total, spread over 1–3 payments. The transfer size of between 100,000 to 240,000 Ugandan Shillings is based on analysis of household consumption and minimum expenditure needs. The first payments were sent out in April 2020.
“As many people are reduced to eating meagre rations and face the threat of starvation due to the impact of COVID-19 and necessary restrictions, the monthly cash grant will help them meet their basic needs,” he explained.
The additional funding follows an earlier contribution of USD 15 million (56 billion Shillings) to Uganda’s COVID-19 response. The Head of Mission recalls that they responded with support as soon as cases of COVID-19 began to cross Uganda’s borders.
The money is supporting the salaries of additional personnel as well as critical equipment, helping to upgrade health centres with electronic data systems across the nation and expanding laboratory capacity so that more testing can be done.
He added that they have also contributed funding to enhance children protection, to support refugees and their host communities and to monitor human rights abuses occurring as a result of the pandemic.
The United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently announced that America made a commitment of an additional USD 162 million for the global COVID-19 response bringing the total contribution to-date to more than USD 1 billion since the coronavirus outbreak began. Krafft says that it’s from this commitment that Uganda is getting an additional funding of USD 10 million.
Last week, Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda told Parliament that the National COVID-19 Fund has received donations worth 28 billion Shillings since its establishment in response to the needs occasioned by an outbreak of coronavirus disease. The donations he said included cash, assorted food items, medical supplies, vehicles and other non-food items. The fund targets to raise 170 billion Shillings.