Omoro. The European Union, under the 11th European Development Fund, has donated Shs115b [Euros 26 million] to help fast track development in northern Uganda.
This is being carried out under the Development Initiative of Northern Uganda (DINU) programme, which intends to eradicate poverty, eliminate malnutrition and also strengthen agencies so that they are able to attain sustainable and inclusive socio-economic development.
Speaking at the launch of the four-year initiative in Omoro District last Friday, Mr Dmitry Pozhidaev, the UN Capital Development Fund regional technical officer for Uganda, said the project will focus on agriculture, food security, infrastructure development and good governance.
Mr Pozhidaev explained that money will also be used to address challenges caused by the influx of South Sudan refugees in West Nile and Acholi sub-regions, and climate change issues in Karamoja sub-region.
According to recent data released by Uganda Bureau of Statistics [Ubos], the national poverty level has increased from 19.7 per cent in 2012/13 to 21.4 per cent in 2016/2017 financial year.
Although the northern region is rated the most impoverished, Ubos recent survey reveals that there was a reduction in poverty levels from 43.7 per cent in 2012/13 to 32.5 per cent in 2016/17.
To ensure that the project is successful, Mr Pozhidaev said the local government finance commission and the Office of the Prime Minister will conduct internal monitoring and evaluation.
The Omoro District chairperson, Mr Douglas Peter Okello, welcomed the initiative saying it will help transform the lives of residents and improve productivity in the region’s agriculture sector.