The Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda has launched the National Food Security Assessment report which provides the short term, medium and long term recommendations for eradication of food insecurity in Uganda.

PM Rugunda officially receives donation of 119,660 bags of China rice from the Chinese Ambassador, Zheng Zhu-Qiang at Serena hotel ( Photo by PMPU)

Dr Rugunda launched the report at Kampala Serena hotel and welcomed the support of the Development Partners in implementing the recommendations contained in the national food security assessment report.

The report provides an updated assessment of how many people in Uganda are affected by food insecurity, where these people are located and how their socio-economic status affects their ability to cope with the food insecurity.

According to the report, the 2015/16 El Nino event seriously impacted the eastern, central and western regions of Uganda. The sub-regions of Karamoja Teso, Lango, Acholi, Bukedi, West Nile and districts along the cattle corridor causing massive crop failure and this evolving food crisis in the country.

Report findings show that about 11 million people in Uganda are experiencing acute food insecurity situation of which 1.6 million are in a crisis situation.

Dr Rugunda said government has committed 25 billion shillings for relief food and was in the process of procuring 60,000 bags of 100kgs of maize flour and 15,000 bags of 100kgs of beans.

He said deliveries of relief food to populations severely affected in Karamoja, Teso, Bukedi and the cattle corridor is on-going.

OPM Permanent Secretary Christine Guwatudde after signing certificate of handover of rice donation with Chinese Ambassador at Serena hotel ( Photo by PMPU)

“In addition, Government has worked out a five year (2017-2021) Food Insecurity Eradication Plan, scaling up irrigation, construction of more valley tanks and large dams,” Rugunda said.

On this occasion, the Prime Minister received a donation 119,660 bags of 50kgs of rice worth 22 billion shillings from the Government of the People’s Republic of China for distribution to some people severely affected by this food crisis.

Dr Rugunda also welcomed the World Bank support of 14 billion shillings to Karamoja through the 3rd Northern Uganda Social Action Fund (NUSAF3) under the cash- for- work programme commonly referred to as Disaster Risk Financing (DRF).

The Minister for Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Vincent SSempijja said the number of people in need of relief food has increased from 1.3 million in November 2016 to 3.5 million to date.

The World Bank Country Manager, Christina Malmberg-Calvo, United Nations Resident Coordinator, Rosa Malango and the Ambassador of the Peoples Republic of China, Zheng Zhu-Qiang pledged to support Uganda to overcome the food crisis.

The policy recommendations of the report include the need to develop and adopt a comprehensive food insecurity reduction strategy and effective coordination, collaboration and coherence among multiple economic and social sectors. The report also calls for the transformation of the agricultural sector to bring marginal productivity to substantially higher levels.