KAMPALA: UN Women in Uganda has received funding worth Shs48 million from the government through the Norway Royal Norwegian Embassy in Uganda to implement a four-year programme aimed at improving livelihoods of female refugees and host communities in the country.
The programme titled ‘Enhanced Women’s’ Leadership, Empowerment, Access, and Protection (LEAP) 2022-25’ will be implementing in the refugee host districts of Adjumani, Kyegwega, Terego and Yumbe.
The programme will target 56,310 refugees and host communities (40,610 women and 15,700 men and boys ) as direct beneficiaries and 1,300,000 refugee and host community.
While launching the programme in Kampala on Wednesday, the Norwegian ambassador to Uganda, Ostebo Johanson commended, the government of Uganda, UN Women and partners for a job well done on the implementation of LEAP programme in the first phase.
“The results recorded in LEAP I were enormous, and the impact was felt in the communities and it is why we are committing funding for the LEAP II,” she said.
She further mentioned that the Norwegian government remains committed to supporting UN Women in Uganda’s activities to ensure that women are empowered and gender equality is realized especially after the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The LEAP I programme was implemented by UN Women through partners such as Refugee Law Project (RLP), CARE International and Uganda Women’s Network (UWONET), in the Districts of Adjumani and Yumbe.
Through the program, (7,460 females and 479 males; 6,543 refugees and 1,396 hosts) benefitted directly benefited from the programme on gender equality and women’s empowerment.
Rose Muheko, an urban refugee, narrated that she was a victim of sexual violence after she was kidnapped and by rebels in DRC between 2004 and 2007. She says she was raped and became pregnant.
When she had a chance to run away she then found her way to Uganda. She was again sexually harassed by her care taker in Muyenga- Bukasa a kampala suburb, where she got another girl child.
She says currently, she lacks funds for treatment and starting a business.
She said the funding will help women refugees of her nature to access education and capital to start businesses.
The UN Women officer in charge of the country office, Dan Bazira, noted that LEAP I remains one of the key programmes in which they have registered success.
“With the LEAP I, we managed to achieve 66 per cent of the 997 targeted women earning an income compared to 15 percent previously, 80 per cent growth from 30 per cent of community members who believe in gender equality between men and women among other achievements,” he said.
Chris Tusiime, an undersecretary in charge of refugees in the Office of the Prime Minister, said Uganda currently hosts around 1.5 million refugees. He acknowledged the role of UN Women in empowering women and addressing issues of gender based violence in refugee and host communities.