KAMPALA — The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has awarded $9.9 million through the international non-governmental organization GiveDirectly, in partnership with the Government of Uganda, to deliver cash transfers supporting Ugandans who lost their livelihoods as a result of COVID-19 and necessary public health restrictions.
Through this significant contribution, the U.S. government, under the guidance of the Government of Uganda, will provide direct cash grants to eligible participants in six cities recently designated by the Ministry of Local Government. The initial rollout of the activity is taking place in the coming week in Lira, later followed by Moroto, Gulu, Kabale, Mbale, and Mbarara, with the final order to be determined. Note: Ugandans are not able to register themselves or others to become eligible for the program but will be identified through socio-economic data, to ensure that the project is fair and equitable.
As many people are reduced to eating smaller food rations and face hunger as a result of the impacts of COVID-19, the monthly cash grants will help them meet their basic needs. And as the U.S. Mission previewed in May, this injection of cash into local markets will boost small businesses’ ability to function until the communities they serve are again able to sustain the marketplace.
“USAID, in partnership with GiveDirectly and the Government of Uganda, is committed to helping those most in need get through this period without losing their businesses and ability to earn their living. The grants will enable the small entrepreneurs and traders to bounce back the moment the situation eases and the markets return,” said Richard Nelson, the USAID Mission Director in Uganda.
“As we expand our urban infrastructure, the partnership with GiveDirectly and USAID will be essential for supporting the livelihoods of Ugandan citizens within our newly created cities. Ugandans are struggling during this difficult time and we are committed to doing everything we can to strengthen our citizens’ economic prospects,” said Hon. Namuyangu Kacha Jenipher, Minister of State for Local Government.
The cash grants are part of the U.S. government’s Feed the Future initiative that works to improve food security and stabilize markets in Uganda. They will strengthen the Ugandan people’s resilience during a period of economic instability and complement other USAID programs that are helping Ugandans respond to the impacts of COVID-19.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, USAID/Uganda has invested $23.4 million to counter the impacts of COVID-19, including the $9.9 million awarded through GiveDirectly, as well as other interventions, such as disease prevention and control, and assisting communities to manage shocks and stresses induced by COVID-19. This USAID response is part of the U.S. Mission in Uganda’s overall commitment of $35 million to Uganda’s COVID response effort, as well as the U.S. government’s commitment of over $1 billion in assistance aimed at fighting the pandemic in more than 120 countries around the world.
GiveDirectly is the first and largest nonprofit that lets donors send money directly to the world’s most vulnerable. Founded in 2009, GiveDirectly has delivered over $260 million in cash to over 270,000 households living across the world.