Posted by: APO | 11 October 2007



Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs




(Kampala: 11 October 2007): The humanitarian community in Uganda has received a US$ 6 million grant from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) for emergency life-saving activities in response to the flooding that has severely impacted parts of eastern and northern Uganda. The grant is in response to a US$41 million Flash Appeal launched by the humanitarian community on September 21st.


“These funds will be put to immediate use to benefit the many thousands who require aid to cope with the effects of the floods,” said Mr. Theophane Nikyema, United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for Uganda, welcoming the grant decision. “We cannot afford to think a few days of sun may solve the harm caused by the rains. Instead we must recognize that only continued support for food security and disease prevention will help to rebuild people’s livelihoods,” he added.


Unusually heavy rain – the heaviest rains in 35 years – have been falling across eastern and northern Uganda since July 2007, destroying much of the first season harvest and disrupting second season planting, hence raising concerns about food security. Many families will require food aid to cover a ten-month hunger gap, where only one month is the norm.


The flooding has also damaged shelter, water and sanitation facilities. Many homes have collapsed, while most that remain standing have damp floors and crumbling walls due to excessive moisture. Most pit latrines have collapsed while those remaining are not safe for human use. Rather than risk their lives, residents have chosen to defecate in the bush.


Most water sources, including boreholes, have been contaminated, further increasing the possibility of epidemic disease outbreaks for which there is little preparedness. Many health centres in the affected areas had little or no supply of essential drugs at the start of the emergency, while staffing levels are chronically low.


To redress the situation, the humanitarian community has been delivering relief supplies to the affected areas, including: distribution of food aid to at least 120,000 people; establishment of temporary learning spaces and supporting approximately 10,000 Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) candidates; construction of plastic latrines for 20 worst hit schools per affected district; distribution of 5000 bags of cassava cuttings to 4000 households; distribution of water purification tablets to over 25,000 households; distribution of non-food items to over 18,345 households.


It was in support of these activities that the humanitarian community appealed for the US$ 41 million. Containing projects by United Nations agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the response plan that forms the basis of the appeal prioritizes urgent action to stabilise the food security situation; prevent outbreaks of epidemic disease and ensure capacity to respond to health emergencies; re-open schools affected by the floods; ensure access to the most vulnerable and respond to their needs; and undertake activities to facilitate the early recovery of those affected by the floods. The funding received from the CERF is directed at answering the most urgent needs identified in the Flash Appeal.


Established by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2005, the Central Emergency Response Fund comprises a grant facility and a loan facility together totalling US$ 500 million (US$ 450 million for grants, US$ 50 million for loans) to which United Nations agencies can appeal for urgent life-saving assistance in both sudden-onset and neglected emergencies.


%d bloggers like this: