The initial roll-out direct cash transfers took place last week in Lira City on 6th August where about 10,000 beneficiaries from three parishes including Kakoge received 100,000 Shillings each, injecting USD 750, 000 about 2.7 billion into the local economy.
Lifting of lockdown restrictions has given leeway to the population in Gulu to resort to living free life styles - Photo by Dominic Ochola
A total of 120,000 families in Uganda whose livelihoods have been negatively affected by
Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic will benefit from USD 10 million, approximately 36 billion Shillings' direct cash transfers.
programme, implemented by GiveDirectly, a nonprofit organization that lets
donors send money to the world’s poorest backed by the Ministry of Local
Government is funded by the U.S Agency for International Development – USAID.
Kayemba, the GiveDirectly Country Director says the innovative direct cash giveaway
project targets vulnerable Ugandans across the six newly created cities of
Mbale, Moroto, Lira, Gulu, Kabale and Mbarara over the next three to five months, with a possibility of rolling out the programme to other cities later.
The initial roll-out direct cash transfers took place last week in Lira City on August 6, where about 10,000 beneficiaries from three parishes including Kakoge received 100,000 Shillings each, injecting USD 750, 000 (about 2.7 billion) into the local economy.
According to statistics from the Ministry of Health, Uganda had 1,297 cumulative cases of COVID-19 with nine deaths and 1,137 recoveries, as of Monday, August 10.
COVID-19, many families were already facing difficult conditions. The pandemic
is exposing these existing vulnerabilities and making them worse,” said Kayemba. He added that direct cash transfers supported by MTN and Airtel telecommunication
companies can have a rapid and profound impact in this time of crisis to help
these families make ends meet and avoid falling further into poverty.”
team met local leaders in Gulu where they consulted to enrol four parishes yet
to be nominated to benefit from the innovative project. Edward Kiwanuka, the
interim Gulu City Town Clerk described the program as “too good to be true.”
Charles Luwa, the interim Gulu City Economic Planner says there are several
parishes in the newly created city that are very vulnerable thus such a
programme would stimulate increased economic activities. There are currently 34
parishes that make Gulu City.
Magezi, the Minister for Local Government described the availability of the grant
as an important moment for vulnerable Ugandans in the newly created cities who
are struggling to fend for their livelihoods.
to the design of the project, Ugandans do not need to register themselves to be
eligible for the programme but will be identified through the socio-economic
data of the telecommunication companies targeting the poorest areas in each
city to ensure fairness and equity.
phone subscribers who live in the selected vulnerable parishes of the cities
will be contacted, asked for their consent, and then offered a cash transfer or
through SMS messages, automated calls or call centre agents.
in 2009, GiveDirectly ranked a top international charity organization has
delivered over USD 260 million in cash directly into the hands of over 270,000
households living in poverty across the world.
Ochola's journalism career begun from Radio King 90.2 FM in Gulu around 2009, and Radio Rupiny 95.7 Fm under Vision Group in 2012. He also reported for Mighty Fire 91.5 Fm, Kitgum in 2015 before joining Wizarts Foundation in 2017.
He has been reporting for Uganda Radio Network (URN) since 2017 before being posted as Bureau Chief Kitgum, and latr Gulu between 2018 - 2021. Currently, he reports from Parliament.