Northern Uganda Social Action Fund (NUSAF) IV is set to take off in July 2023 providing a lifeline for the over 39 per cent of the region’s population living in poverty.
As a government initiative aimed at supporting social protection and development, NUSAF IV builds on the successes of its predecessors, NUSAF I through NUSAF III and seeks to expand its scope and beneficiaries.
According to Hon. Grace Freedom Kwiyucwiny, the Minister of State for Northern Uganda, the project is set to support 4,064 parishes, 667,000 households and 31 million beneficiaries and create 21,000 self-employment enterprises for youth beneficiaries.
During the plenary sitting on Tuesday, 4 April 2023, Kwiyucwiny said that the project will cost US$250 million as a loan and US$40 million as a grant over five years.
“The project aims to boost production, value addition and competitiveness for those currently in subsistence economies enabling them to enter the money economy,” Kwiyucwiny said.
She noted that poverty levels are high in Northern Uganda especially in the Acholi and Karamoja sub-regions, which stand at 67.7 per cent and 65.7 per cent respectively.
The project will provide improved inputs, investment capital and value addition equipment, engage private sector investors and processors and grant access to markets.
NUSAF IV, she adds will also support the implementation of labour intensive public works targeted at able bodied persons from poor and vulnerable households.
Kwiyucwiny said that despite challenges of limited resources and reduction in the overall resource envelope, the design of the project is on track, adding that Cabinet has authorized the Office of the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Finance to collaborate with the World Bank. .
She added that consultations with MPs and leaders, appraisal of the project, negotiations between the Government of Uganda and the World Bank and the World Bank Board approval are expected to take place in April.
Cabinet and Parliament approval is expected in May while full scale implementation is anticipated in July 2023.
Kwiyucwiny urged Parliament to support the project while committing to better implementation.
NUSAF was created in 2002 by the Government of Uganda in partnership with the World Bank as a response to the devastating effects of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) insurgency on the people of Northern Uganda.
The programme aimed to provide social and economic support to communities affected by the conflict and to increase their resilience to future shocks.
NUSAF interventions were focused on providing infrastructure such as schools, health facilities, and water sources as well as supporting livelihood activities such as agriculture, small-scale enterprises and vocational education.
The programme was implemented in phases and provided direct support to over 1.2 million households.