With about 10 million Ugandans currently living below the poverty line, financing social protection, to fight poverty is among the lead actions government has adopted in recent years.

Poorest mapped

In that regard, a workshop to identify issues to promote high-level dialogue on the role of social protection in supporting inclusive growth and development in Uganda and how it may be financed was held on December 13, 2017 at Golf Course Hotel Kampala.

Gemma Ahaibwe, a Research Fellow with Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC) was among presenters who set the pace rolling during the convention.

She listed shocks such as harvest failures, natural disasters; food price increases (especially in combination or in a sequence) together with low levels of resilience (that can lead to extra expenses), as key drivers of poverty and inequality.

Gemma stated “Uganda had a very strong deficiency performance in the past two decades, one halved poverty from 56.4% in 1992 to 24.5% in 2009/10. However, recent statistics (UNHS 2016/17) indicate an increase in headcount poverty from 19.7% to 27%.” 

She also noted that inequality stands at 40 percent higher than it was in 1990’s. This growing inequality she says, has hit Eastern and Northern regions worst, adversely affecting growth.

Uganda has a National Social Protection Policy that seeks to increase care and support for vulnerable persons by 2025. Without appropriate financial commitment, the policy may not realize its objectives.

Joseph Enyimu, an Economist with Ministry of Finance observed that over the last two decades, poverty was Uganda’s leading development challenge and today vulnerability takes lead.

He cited a decline of a bout US$ 500 million in foreign direct investments over the last NDP period and such shortfalls could indirectly affect financing for social protection, a program that has currently reached to only 3 percent of Ugandans.


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