NEWS– The government of the United States of America has permanently terminated the Coronavirus funds transfer program in Uganda citing government interference.
The programme was being implemented by GiveDirectly, a nonprofit organization that let Donors send money to the world’s poorest.
The Program is backed by the Ministry of Local Government and was being funded by the U.S Agency for International Development (USAID).
Specifically, the program intended to support Ugandans who lost livelihoods as a result of Coronavirus pandemic lockdown who were at risk of food insecurity and faced serious reductions in household nutrition.
According to the American Embassy the fund transfers were designed to support local markets by providing 120,000 Ugandans in 6 cities with Ugx 100,000 each month for three months.
It’s reported that by September, 47,128 Ugandans had been enrolled in the program.
However, after thorough assessment by Cabinet in September, the NGO Bureau announced an additional review of GiveDirectly’s activities in Uganda, resulting in the program’s suspension.
“GiveDirectly addressed the NGO Bureau’s questions, and no irregularities in the cash transfer program or GiveDirectly’s operations were identified,” the US govt said, adding that the program has still not been authorized to resume, and no assurances have been provided that authorization by the government is forthcoming.
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It is in this light that the indefinite suspension was put in place and it is now unlikely that unless the program meet its original objective, which was to prevent Coronavirus related economic backsliding of the most vulnerable Ugandans it may not be reinstated.
“Therefore, we are obligated contractually to terminate the program permanently…. We deeply regret that the 120,000 Ugandans identified to participate in this program, along with their surrounding communities, will now not have the opportunity to benefit from it”. A statement from the US Embassy stated.
Since the outbreak of the global Coronavirus pandemic, the United States has provided technical assistance and more than US 47 million dollars to help Uganda meet urgent needs in its Coronavirus pandemic response.
The initial roll-out direct cash transfers took place in Lira City on August 6th 2020, where about 10,000 beneficiaries from three parishes including Kakoge received Ugx 100,000 each, which was about Ugx 2.7 billion into the local economy.
Founded in 2009, GiveDirectly ranked a top international charity organization has delivered over US 260 million dollars in cash directly into the hands of over 270,000 households living in poverty across the world.