BY ISAAC MUGERA –

The Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) has received ICT equipment from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), to be used by different government Ministries and Departments in the fight against the spread of the Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19).

The equipment was received by the Minister for General Duties in the OPM, Hon. Mary Karoro Okrut, on behalf of the Rt. Hon Prime minister, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda.

Part of the ICT Equipment package displayed at the OPM head office during the hand-over

The equipment worth USD 1.4m includes laptops, cameras, display screens, video conferencing systems and drones among other equipment.

While receiving the equipment at the OPM headquarters in Kampala, Hon. Karoro praised the UNDP for always standing with Uganda in times of calamity as these COVID-19 times to ensure that the lives of Ugandans are protected.

Minister Karoro Okrut receiving the ICT equipment from the UNDP Representative

She cited the offer by UNDP of the 10,000 licenses for the Zoom Teleconferencing application which were allocated across the whole of Government including Ministries, Departments, Agencies and Local Governments in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This was for purposes of facilitating the entities to organise and conduct virtual meetings as opposed to the traditional physical meetings.  These licenses have been very helpful for convening a number of strategic coordination meetings such as the Presidential Investors Round Table (PIRT), the Inter-Ministerial Taskforce on COVID-19 Response, Departmental meetings, SDGs Secretariat engagements, Disaster Risk Reduction Platform meetings among others.

While handing over the equipment, the UNDP representative said that the UNDP’s offer is aligned with the Uganda National Response Plan for COVID-19 and the UN Response plan.  UNDP has reprogrammed/mobilized US$ 4.13m, and is mobilizing an additional US$ 8m within the joint effort of UN family under the UN Emergency Response Appeal.  The focus of UNDP support is on building national capacities for Inclusive and multi-sectoral crisis management, and investing in Immediate Economic Support and digital innovations.