Tuesday, 19 October 2004

Questions (96)

John Deasy


226 Mr. Deasy asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the level of aid given to Uganda for 2004; if he will estimate the amount to be given in 2005; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25221/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Foreign)

A budget of €30.65 million has been allocated for Ireland's official programme of development assistance to Uganda in 2004. That allocation is in line with the budgetary provisions of my Department's country strategy paper for Uganda, which sets out the strategy for Ireland's programme of development assistance to Uganda for the period 2004-06. The goal of the programme is to support Uganda's efforts to achieve pro-poor and sustainable economic growth, equitable social development and democratic governance, as articulated in Uganda's poverty eradication action plan. The emphasis of the programme is on support for four key sectors: education, agriculture, justice, law and order and health, including HIV/AIDS interventions. The country strategy paper provides for an allocation of €32 million in 2005. Aid is also being given in support of the development activities of civil society bodies in Uganda and in the form of humanitarian assistance.

A further €2.9 million has been allocated in 2004 towards development projects in Uganda under my Department's multi-annual programme scheme, block grant, and non-governmental organisation, NGO, co-financing schemes. This funding is channelled through Irish NGOs and missionaries and goes towards basic education, water and sanitation, primary health care and rural development projects. Funding is also provided for NGO and missionary personnel working in the health, education, administration and technical sectors.

The humanitarian situation in northern Uganda continues to be a source of grave concern. More than 1.4 million displaced people are still seeking shelter in over-congested camps and continue to depend on food assistance for survival. While there have been no major attacks on civilians in the past two months, small-scale ambushes, attacks, looting and abductions continue, constraining the internally displaced from pursuing livelihoods. Access to displaced populations for humanitarian assistance remains a problem.

The World Food Programme, WFP, reports significant shortfalls in the food reserves for northern Uganda. Ireland has provided a total so far of €623,000 in emergency humanitarian assistance to Uganda in 2004, including €500,000 to WFP for food assistance to the internally displaced. My officials will keep this situation under close review and will respond to any changes in the situation.

Question No. 227 answered with QuestionNo. 188.