Uganda Gets $21.2M from Japan

Japanese Ambassador to Uganda Kazuo Minagawa with sports minister Bakabulindi
Japanese Ambassador to Uganda Kazuo Minagawa with sports minister Bakabulindi

While other donor countries have pulled out of Uganda, the Japanese Government Tuesday announced that it has remitted 21.2 million USD as humanitarian assistance to Uganda, through United Nations Agencies.

While other donor countries have pulled out of Uganda, the Japanese Government Tuesday announced that it has remitted 21.2 million dollars as humanitarian assistance to Uganda, through United Nations Agencies.

Uganda’s donor aid has reduced in the last two years compared to her counterparts in the East African Community; according to statistics from the donor community.

Several donors pulled out of Uganda following concerns of corruption in handling of donor funds within government bodies.

The height of donor scepticism was related to the corruption scandal in the Office of the Prime Minister, where officials from various departments allegedly embezzled billions of shillings meant to resettle displaced people in Northern Uganda.

Several donors have since demanded that the stolen money be refunded to them.

Uganda was forced to refund bilateral donors such as Ireland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark.

However, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Okello Oryem is optimistic that since Japan’s aid comes without donor conditions, Uganda can independently decide how to utilize it.
But Japanese Ambassador to Uganda Kazuo Minagawa maintains that despite the controversial status of donor aid in Uganda, its level of trust in Uganda has not been tampered with.

Speaking to journalists during a Media Briefing Tuesday, Ambassador Kazuo Minagawa affirmed that choosing to remit the funds through United Nations Agencies, was not a show of distrust of the Government, but rather to promote humanitarian assistance.

The specific UN bodies that will get the aid towards emergency relief include UNICEF, UNDP and UNHCR.

The UN agencies are already working in securing livelihoods, providing agricultural inputs, education and village savings.

Annuha Ezakowa Enochie, UN Resident Coordinator, says that the funds will aid the UN delivery as one initiative, which allows the UN system to interlink between agencies.

Apart from these tailored objects, it is expected that the funds will go a long way as an intervention in assisting refugees, of which Uganda is home to number of them, particularly from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Since 2002, Japan has given up to 125 million US dollars condition free aid to Uganda.

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