Poverty on the rise in northern Uganda - report

Friday December 18 2015

By Emmanuel Ainebyoona


Despite government interventions in northern Uganda, a new report has shown that the number of poor living below the poverty line is on the rise.

The Uganda Human Development report released in Kampala yesterday indicates that the number of poor people in region has increased from 4.7 millon in 2005/06 to 5.1 million in 2012/13.

Northern Uganda, which the report says is covered by government’s Peace Recovery and Development Plan (PRDP), includes Acholi, Lango, and West Nile, Karamoja, Bukedi, Elgon, Teso and parts of Bunyoro. The report, prepared by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), has attributed the relatively low level of human development in the region to long periods of conflict and cattle rustling, and marginalisation that dates back to the colonial era. “Despite a faster reduction in poverty headcount ratio since 2006, the PRDP region continues to host a greater proportion of poor with its contribution to poverty well above its share of the total population,” the report reads in part.

While presenting the report, Dr Sarah Ssewanyana, the executive director of the Economic Research Policy Centre (ERPC), noted that despite heavy infrastructural development in northern Uganda under PRDP II and II, there are a lot of inequalities with the rest of the country.

“For instance in education, teacher effort and knowledge in northern Uganda is still low on top of inadequate access to secondary schools,” said Dr Ssewanyana.


Speaking on behalf of Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda, Third Deputy Prime Minister Kirunda Kivejinja said the report comes at a time when government is in the process of implementing PRDP III.

“PRDP III is a clear demonstration of government’s commitment to full transformation of northern Uganda, nine years after the defeat of Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance (LRA),” said Mr Kivejinja.

The UNDP resident representative, Ms Almaz Gebru, said the UDR2015 report was released a few days after the release of the Global Human Development Report, which puts Uganda and Rwanda in the 163rd position basing on the human development index (HDI).

The human development index (HDI) confirms that Uganda remains a low human development country because its index falls below the HDI-cut off value of 0.5550. HDI is based on life expectancy, mean years of schooling and expected years of schooling and the income index.