The Minister of State for Northern Uganda, Grace Kwiyucwiny on Thursday, held a meeting with the Northern Uganda Development Partners to discuss ways of creating and strengthening partnerships with the various Development Partners in Northern Uganda.
The meeting at the Office of the Prime Minister was also aimed at reaching a harmonised approach towards the implementation and achievement of the goals set by the various actors in the Northern Uganda region.
It was also an opportunity for the new Minister, to acquaint herself with the different stakeholders in the development of Northern Uganda.
In her statement, the Minister thanked the Development Partners for the continued financial and technical support they give to the government of Uganda and thus pledged a committed working relationship with the Partners through constant establishment of control mechanisms to stamp out corruption in order to rebuild confidence and transparency with the Partners.
Kwiyucwiny said Government is currently implementing the Peace, Recovery and Development Plan (PRDP3) whereas, specific programmes such as Northern Uganda Social Action Fund (NUSAF3) under PRDP are also coming on board.
She added that the discussions regarding the financing agreement for the 11th EDF programme to succeed ALREP and KALIP-Development Initiatives for Northern Uganda (DINU) are also on going.
The Minister,Hon Grace Kwiyucwiny shakes hands with the EU Ambassador, Mr. Kristian Schmidt after the meeting on Thursday at the Office of the Prime Minister (Photo by PMPU)
The Minister said that the main focus of all the programmes in the region is to enhance household incomes and improve livelihoods, adding that under the PRDP grant, 70% of the resources will be allocated for this cause.
She also said there was urgent need to create employment, increase productivity, promote exports, processing, marketing as well as re-skilling the youth.
Kwiyucwiny noted that, Northern Uganda still lags behind in terms of development and thus called upon the Development Partners to support the region either directly through the budget or indirectly through the off budget support, adding that the Northern Uganda Youth Development Centre (NUYDC) needs urgent and critical support.
“Poverty levels in Northern Uganda are still high compared to the national level and we must work hard to reduce this poverty in the region if the country is to achieve a middle Income status by 2020,”said the Minister.
The European Union Ambassador, Kristian Schmidt and the Chair of the Northern Uganda Development Partners reassured government of the continued support of the Development Partners to the development of Northern Uganda.
He also expressed gratitude to the government of Uganda for hosting refugees from the Republic of South Sudan.
“I wish to assure you that Northern Uganda is high on the agenda of the Development Partners,” Ambassador Schmidt said.
The Ambassador also noted that the opportunities in Northern Uganda are enormous in Agriculture, Agro- business, trade, mining, and industrialisation and thus the need to develop the region.
He called upon the Office of the Prime Minister to actively engage all sectors in the implementation of activities to enhance service delivery to the people of Northern Uganda.
Also present at the meeting were the UNDP Country Director, Almaz Gebru and representatives from the Australian Embassy, UNICEF, UNHCR, USAID and Japan among others.
By Doreen Nasasira and Apollo Munghinda
Friday, 16 September, 2016