The World Bank has approved a $300 million (about Shs. 1.12Trillion) budget support operation for Uganda to boost the country’s fight against Covid19.
The loan was requested by the Health Ministry to fund urgent activities including surveillance, strategic information, research and innovation, logistics, laboratory, risk communication and community engagement and others.
The money will be used to among others enhance capacity to prevent, detect and treat the coronavirus, protect the poor and vulnerable population, and support economic recovery.
The Uganda COVID-19 Economic Crisis and Recovery Development Policy Financing is the first budget support operation in more than 6 years.
This will provide a much needed relief to the health ministry which has form months been calling for more resources to take on the pandemic
The world bank in a statement, said this money will address the fiscal financing gap while supporting reforms that will provide immediate relief to individuals and businesses that have been most affected by the pandemic.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the economy and livelihoods. This budget support operation will enable the Government to provide vital services, social safety nets and a more robust shock-responsive system for the long term, and the economy to recover faster,” said Tony Thompson, World Bank Country Manager for Uganda.
Uganda’s Covid19 cases as of today stand at 889.
But the World Bank fears that many Ugandans could be forced into poverty due to the measures such as restrictions on travel, public gatherings, closure of businesses and schools.
“An estimated 3.15 million could fall deeper into poverty, adding to the 8.7 million people Ugandans currently living below the poverty line. This has been worsened by the onset of heavy rains and flooding, and a locust invasion whose impact was expected during April-June of 2020. Overall economic growth is projected at 3 to 4 percent in FY2019/20, lower than the 6.3 percent that had been anticipated for the year,” the bank stated