Thursday October 19 2017

Shs2 billion to equip women refugees with business skills

Sealed. Norwegian Ambassador to Uganda Susan

Sealed. Norwegian Ambassador to Uganda Susan Eckey (right) signs the partnership. Centre is UN Women Regional Director Dr Izeduwa Derex-Briggs and State minister for Gender and Culture Peace Mutuuzo (left). COURTESY PHOTO 

By LILIAN NAMAGEMBE

Kampala.

The Norwegian government has donated $1.5m (about Shs2.4b) to facilitate training of women refugees from South Sudan, in business entrepreneurship skills, to enable them be economically independent.
Part of the money, signed through a three-year memorandum of understanding with the UN Women, a United Nations entity for genders equality and empowerment, as the implementing partner, will also be used to provide business capital to the beneficiaries.
The funds will also be used to link the women to markets as well as provide basic education to enable them learn how to read and write in English since most of them speak Arabic, and ease their communication with the indigenous people in the markets.
“...building up and strengthening refugee women’s economic independence based on entrepreneurship is an important pillar of this Norway-UN women partnership,” Ms Susan Eckey, the Ambassador of Norway said at the partnership in Kampala last week.

6,000 women targeted
The initiative, under the three year Leadership, Empowerment, Access and Protection programme targets to benefit 6,000 women and liberate them from sole dependence on humanitarian aid even when they return to their home country when the conflicts end.
“This programme will help to reduce the burden on South Sudanese refugee and host community women and girls in and around the targeted settlements by improving their livelihoods opportunities and strengthening their resilience to current and future shocks.” Dr Izeduwa noted.
Women and girls from the host districts such as Adjumani, Arua , Koboko , Kyegegwa , Lamwo , Moyo and Yumbe will have 30 per cent of the funds to their benefits since the huge numbers of refugees are placing a huge strain on resources such as medicines on the communities.
Ms Peace Mutuuzo, the minister of state for Gender Labour and Culture, who witnessed the signing of the partnership, welcomed the move saying that it is in line with the country’s comprehensive refugee’s response framework.
“We are very optimistic that by the end of the three years, the wellbeing of refugee women and girls will have improved,” Ms Mutuuzo said.
The Uganda comprehensive refugee’s response framework seeks to among others provide durable solutions for both refugees and host communities in form of self-reliance.

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