The US government has announced a donation of US$21m meant for buying emergency food aid for the hunger-stricken people of Karamoja in the northeastern part of Uganda, as well as cater for newly arrived refugees.
The cash for emergency food aid was announced alongside a US$61m package in humanitarian assistance for Uganda that was announced by the US assistant Secretary of State for Refugees and Migrants Julieta Valls Noyes during her visit to Uganda.
In total, the US government made a donation of US$82m for humanitarian work meant to help the country cope with the effects of the economic crisis including food shortages.
The US Ambassador to Uganda Natalie Brown, said in a statement that: “The United States is committed to contributing to ending hunger and malnutrition and building more sustainable, equitable, and resilient food systems around the world.
“A confluence of crises has pushed many Ugandans toward a hunger crisis. Food prices–already high as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic–have soared even higher due to Russia’s war on Ukraine, putting families at risk of starvation.
“Impacts of climate change, drought, and conflict have left record numbers of people in the Karamoja Sub-region in dire need of aid, with women and children facing the brunt of the crisis.
Ambassador Brown said UN World Food Programme (WFP) will manage the $21 million in USAID funding that was announced.
The UN agency will use the funds to provide newly arrived refugees with hot meals at transit and reception centres.
“It also will support other refugees with monthly portions of beans, maize grain, and vegetable oil; and cash for purchasing food staples from local markets, which also supports the Ugandan economy.
“USAID’s funding will also support communities in Uganda’s Karamoja Sub-region. More than half a million people in Karamoja are going hungry, and more than half of all children are severely malnourished and in need of urgent nutrition assistance in the worst-affected areas.
“In response, USAID will provide emergency food and nutrition assistance to more than 94,000 people in Karamoja Sub-region.
The US assistance comes against the backdrop of reports of dozens of people who have died in Karamoja due to hunger.
Latest reports by the World Food Program (WFP) shows that more than 500,000 people are going hungry in Karamoja, Uganda (40% of the region’s population) with ~91,600 children and 9,500 pregnant or breastfeeding women suffering from acute malnutrition.