Pacifici said EUs intention is to narrow the gap and ensure long lasting peace and security in the region. He said Agriculture specifically deserves more attention since despite the potential; it has not helped to reduce food security.
The Ugandan government and the European Union have unveiled a Shillings 670bn initiative aimed at consolidating stability in Northern Uganda, eradicate poverty and under nutrition.
The Development Initiative for Northern Uganda (DINU) worth Euro150.6m is a multi-sectoral program which will be led by the Office of the Prime Minister and in 33 districts of Acholi, West Nile, Teso and Karamoja regions for six years from 2017-2023.
The EU will contribute Euros 132.8M, Uganda Euros 11M, DFID Euros 2.6M, Republic of Germany Euros 1.8M, UNCDF Euros 0.3M and UNICEF Euros 1M. DINU will support interventions in three interlinked sectors of food security, nutrition and livelihood, good governance and infrastructure development including water, transport, logistics and energy.
Transport infrastructure will also be improved through rehabilitation and upgrading of the Atiak-Adjumani-Moyo-South Sudan border road and Atiak Laropi section, which will be managed by Uganda National Roads Authority.
The initiative will be implemented by the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ), United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), Department for International Development (DFID), and the United Nation's Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), according to their specialty.
Speaking during the launch of the initiative at the Prime Ministers Conference hall in Kampala, Attilio Pacifici, the Head of Delegation of the European Union to Uganda, said Northern Uganda still lags behind in terms of development compared to other regions, adding that there is a high level of Poverty in the region.
Pacifici said EU's intention is to narrow the gap and ensure long lasting peace and security in the region. He said Agriculture specifically deserves more attention since despite the potential; it has not helped to reduce food security. He said 16 of the 33 districts will be grouped under core districts.
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The Prime Minister, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda said Government was prioritizing affirmative action for northern Uganda to ensure that the years lost during the northern insurgency are recovered. He said there would be increased production of food, increased market accessibility and transport and infrastructure development.
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General Moses Ali, the Third Deputy Prime Minister, said after suffering conflict for a long time, the region lost economically as the population was displaced. He said many people in Northern Uganda live below poverty level, adding that the construction of roads will help farmers and business in the region.
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Douglas Okello Okao, the Omoro District LC V chairperson, welcomed the initiative, saying it is timely since the region is grappling with major post conflict challenges. Okello said after two decades of war in Northern Uganda, there is food insecurity, malnutrition in children and high levels of poverty.
He prayed that the funds go directly to the people, saying they have had experience with projects in Northern Uganda because most money goes into administration.
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Northern Uganda suffered over two decades of the brutal war of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) under Joseph Kony. Thousands of people were killed and millions of others forced into internally displaced people's camps (IDP'S) while thousands of children were abducted.