Sunday May 23 2010

UK minister lauds north recovery effort

By Paul Amoru

The coalition government formed barely a week ago in the United Kingdom has already sent a minister to northern Uganda on a fact finding mission expected to guide the implementation of their international development policy in the country.
Mr Stephen O’Brien was appointed the International Development minister and his tour of northern Uganda is his first international assignment.

While in Gulu on Wednesday, Mr O’Brien described recovery efforts in the war battered region as impressive and yielding fruits. “I was in Uganda about three years ago but I am delighted to be back again, this time as a minister, so that I can see for myself the enormous progress and the peace that has offered the former displaced persons a chance to return home,” he said.

Former Opposition leader and new UK Prime Minister David Cameron came to power last Tuesday on the back of Britain’s first coalition government since World War II.
Mr Cameron and junior partner Nick Clegg are vowing to stick together for years to come.

Mr O’Brien, who last came to Uganda as a shadow health minister, says his visit will assess the impact of the UK funded projects under the Department For International Development, (DFID). DFID is a UK government department.

“In the area of international development, we are very broad, so I am here to see what is working well and build on what works,” the minister added. DFID and AVSI have facilitated the return of hundreds of extremely vulnerable individuals to their homes by building for them huts and providing other basic needs.