Uganda has been given 10 million euros (Shs37.2 billion) by the European Union (EU) to pay for food production and make food systems more stable.
The money is part of a 600 million euro grant from the EU to help the most vulnerable African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) countries deal with the unfair effects of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, such as the current food crisis and other economic shocks.
EU Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen is optimistic that the support will help shoulder the consequences felt worldwide as a result of the war in Ukraine. Uganda is among the countries globally that have faced an increase in fuel, food, and fertilizer prices since Russia invaded Ukraine in February.
“In the short-term, we are helping families with food and nutrition assistance and helping countries to buy the food they need; we also work on solutions to address current and future risks by investing in local sustainable food systems to enhance resilience,” she said
Meanwhile, the EU’s Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenari, said the newly allocated funds will help those in a dire situation meet their emergency food needs. “The EU remains committed to supporting the most vulnerable. However, humanitarian aid cannot substitute for the efforts needed to increase the resilience of the most vulnerable populations. “Sustainable development-oriented solutions to end hunger are key,” said part of a statement issued by the EU delegation in Uganda.
The decision to redirect 600 million euros to food security in African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) countries was announced by European Commission President Von der Leyen in June 2022, and the allocation received the green light from EU Member States last month.
The EU says that this new support will pay for actions that will help increase the EU’s contribution to the Agricultural Business Initiative (ABI) to help make the agriculture and agribusiness sectors more competitive, profitable, and sustainable.
Through this additional support, the Agricultural Business Initiative will be able to provide financial assistance to agri-businesses, smallholder farmers, and farmer associations to help them improve their systems, increase their production and productivity, and improve their access to markets. The program will be made bigger so that households in Karamoja that are always or sometimes hungry can handle food shocks better.
Since 2016, Uganda’s food insecurity has steadily gotten worse. This is because of war and instability, including in neighboring countries; delayed and unpredictable rainy seasons; and the social and economic effects of COVID-19.
The world is facing a global food crisis, aggravated by Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. The recently released mid-year update to the Global Report on Food Crises estimates that as many as 205.1 million people in 45 countries covered by the Global Report on Food Crises 2022 are facing high levels of acute food insecurity right now.