ZOMBO – The State Minister for Northern Uganda, Ms Grace Kwiyucwiny, has asked leaders in the region to embrace the Development Initiative for Northern Uganda (DINU), a new government programme supported by the European Union (EU) aimed at improving livelihoods of people in the five sub-regions of Acholi, Karamoja, Lango, Teso, and West Nile.
She made the remarks during the DINU programme implementation meeting with district leaders from West Nile Sub-region at Zombo District headquarters on October 31.
“I wish to call upon all key stakeholders to actively play their roles in ensuring that the programme is implemented and managed collectively in order to produce a positive impact on the beneficiaries,” Ms Kwiyucwiny said
The DINU regional meeting intended to inform key stakeholders about the programme interventions and involvement of key actors such as government, European Union, and implementing partners.
DINU is a multi-sectoral integrated programme supporting interventions in three interlinked sectors: (1) Market-oriented agriculture, food security and nutrition, livelihoods; (2) Infrastructures (transport, logistics, water, energy) and (3) Good governance for improved service delivery.
Ms Kwiyucwiny said the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) is responsible for the overall coordination and supervision of the DINU programme in partnership with the local governments.
She urged implementers to exercise transparency saying, “EU-OPM has Zero tolerance to corruption and the DINU implementation should be done with the highest expected standards.”
“As such, government expects all DINU implementing partners and stakeholders to adopt and nurture a culture of transparency when dealing with the implementation as a way of encouraging wider participation and ownership of interventions in the Northern Uganda districts.”
“I also call upon all stakeholders to fully support the DINU programme by working together and fully participating in the timely implementation of activities and actions so that we all deliver this large and integrated programme effectively. Government wishes to actively engage with all the funders and partners of DINU to ensure the programme delivers expected results and outcomes and that funding allocated over the next five years is put to good use for the benefit of our people of Northern Uganda,” she explained.
She revealed that government together with development partners has, over the years, been supporting Northern Uganda to ensure that it is at the same level of development with other parts of the country.
In this process, “We appreciate the European Union (EU) for standing with us during the emergency, rehabilitation and reconstruction phases of Northern Uganda recovery programme; and now in the same spirit embarking on the development phase of the region. The EU through DINU has continued to render substantial support to boost the development of Northern Uganda.”
The Head of the European Union Delegation to Uganda, Ambassador Attilio Pacifici, said DINU is a mark of a long-standing partnership and commitment of the EU to continue working closely with the people of Uganda and in particular the people of Northern Uganda.
“It is through these initiatives, that are desired, conceived, planned and implemented together, that we deepen and strengthen our partnership even more,” he said.
He said the implementation of the programme has already started for many components and the OPM DINU Programme Management Unit composed of 21 staff is now fully on board and present in the region adding that this will allow for better coordination and for additional activities to start immediately.
According to the Ambassador, Northern Uganda has been receiving a lot of attention over the past decades, including from the EU, and impressive progress has been made over the past 10 years, since the return of peace and stability in the region.
He, however, said new challenges have emerged while in other areas, not all the old challenges have been fully overcome. For instance, the huge influx of South-Sudanese refugees is a new prominent challenge in the North-West while in Karamoja some security challenges and threats still keep coming from across the borders, not mentioning other challenges in particular linked to climate change.
Notwithstanding the substantial and sustained progress in human and economic development made in recent times, he said the region still lags behind compared to other parts of Uganda.
“Further efforts are therefore required to narrow this gap and to respond to the specific challenges faced by the people of Northern Uganda. This is why the EU, through DINU as well as other programmes, continues to invest in Northern Uganda. We are committed to supporting the people, the government of Uganda at central and local levels and other stakeholders to ensure long-lasting peace, security and stability and the development of the region,” he explained.
The DINU programme, which was initiated in 2017 is funded with a 132.8 million Euros grant from the European Union, 11.9 million Euros from the Government of Uganda and 5.9 million Euros from implementing partners.
Overall goal: “Consolidate stability in Northern Uganda, eradicate poverty, under-nutrition and strengthen the foundations for sustainable and inclusive socio-economic development.”
The 33 beneficiary districts of the programme are Agago, Amuru, Gulu, Kitgum, Lamwo, Nwoya, Omoro and Pader in Acholi region; Abim, Amudat, Kaabong, Kotido, Moroto, Nakapiripirit and Napak in Karamoja region; Alebtong, Amolatar, Apac, Dokolo, Kole, Lira, Otuke and Oyam in Lango region; Amuria and Katakwi in Teso region and Adjumani, Arua, Koboko, Maracha, Moyo, Nebbi, Yumbe and Zombo in West Nile region.
OPM has set up a programme management unit of 21 staff based in Gulu, Kampala and Moroto, responsible for the overall coordination, monitoring and execution of the various components of the programme as well as for the direct implementation of some specific activities.
In support of the overall DINU implementation, key implementing partners have undertaken a wide range of activities related to the specific objectives of the programme. They include Department for International Development (DFID)/Trademark East Africa, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).