The United States government says it spent a staggering $840m (Shs 2.9tn) on development programmes in Uganda last year, unhealthy Chimp
This is contained in a report released by the United States embassy here in Kampala.
It shows that in the Fiscal Year 2016, physician U.S. government assistance to Uganda totaled more than $840 million, “supporting programs in health, economic development, security, education, and several other areas in every corner of the country.”
More than half of that assistance, some $488 million, was dedicated to programs in the health sector, including efforts to control the spread of HIV, combat infectious diseases, and build stronger and more effective health systems.
The work of the U.S. Mission in Uganda is carried out by several U.S. government agencies and programs, including the Departments of State and Defense, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the Peace Corps, and the National Institutes of Health.
Releasing the Report, U.S. Ambassador to Uganda Deborah R. Malac explained the rationale behind American aid activities.
“The objective of our programs is simple: we want to help Ugandans create a healthy, prosperous and stable country with just and democratic governance, which will in turn produce an inclusive, educated, and empowered population,” she observed.
“We believe this is the future that all Ugandans – regardless of age, gender, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or political beliefs – deserve.
That’s why the United States invests in Uganda: we want to see its people live up to their full potential.”
Uganda maintains healthy ties with the U.S. government.
However, U.S. has since maintained its tough stance on respect of human rights and previously withheld aid over the same.
The timing of the report is significant as Ugandan officials have in the past expressed reservations that a huge portion of U.S. aid is handed to NGOs and goes back home through funding of its own agencies.
Uganda also appears to have found China a better alternative in financing its infrastructure projects.
But U.S. officials said more than half of all U.S. assistance to Uganda in FY16 – some $488 million – was dedicated to programs in the health sector, including efforts to limit the spread HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria, improve the nutrition of vulnerable populations, and keep mothers and babies healthy before and after childbirth.
And that roughly one-third of American aid programs in this same period focused on activities relating to Uganda’s stability – by promoting conflict mitigation, providing protection for refugees, or bolstering the country’s ability to detect and manage infectious disease outbreaks.
U.S. funding also went to programs that sought to improve literacy, increase trade, protect the environment, defend human rights and the rule of law, and develop the skills of Uganda’s youth and entrepreneurs.
The Embassy said these programs have produced tangible benefits for the people of Uganda, made possible in large part to the partnerships and collaboration Americans and Ugandans have forged over the years.
For example, reads the report, more than 90 percent of all HIV-positive Ugandans receive their medicines through funding from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, helping them to live longer, more productive lives.
It further showed that Ugandan farmers participating in U.S and Feed the Future activities are exporting 50 percent more maize than they were five years ago, contributing to higher incomes and shared prosperity.
Officials maintained U.S.-funded training programs have helped investigate and control some 50 disease outbreaks during the past two years, keeping citizens and the region healthy.
According to the report, more than 500 journalists last year received training through U.S.-funded programs, “helping keep officials accountable and Ugandans better informed.”
U.S.-backed activities in the education sector, meanwhile, are said to be helping to improve literacy for an estimated 3.5 million children across the country.