The Prime Minister, Robinah Nabbanja, has assured MPs that the Northern Uganda Social Action Fund (NUSAF) will not be abolished.
Nabbanja made the assurance during plenary on Tuesday, 22 November 2022, in response to concerns raised by Hon. Martin Ojara Mapenduzi (Indp., Bardege-Layibi Division) on the progress of the successor programme to NUSAF.
NUSAF is a government social protection and development-based programme implemented under the Office of the Prime Minister and is renewed every five years. It commenced in 2003 with NUSAF1, evolving into NUSAF2 and NUSAF3. NUSAF3 ended on 30 June 2021.
According to Ojara Mapenduzi, the Prime Minister had previously communicated to Parliament, a decision taken by Cabinet to provide the NUSAF successor programme to alleviate poverty in Northern and Eastern Uganda.
He added that the World Bank demonstrated commitment to provide funding for the successor programme and government had to fast-track its programme design process.
“It is sad to note that the design phase has stagnated because the funds required have not been provided. This means the successor programme will not be taken,” Ojara Mapenduzi noted.
He asked Parliament to task the finance ministry to explain why it has not provided the necessary funding for the design aspect of the programme.
“I pray that the Government of Uganda should show commitment ad expedite the processes to enable the successor programme take off,” he added.
“A lot of money has been injected into Northern Uganda but the communities continue to suffer. All that money has been going into infrastructure development but this time round, we are injecting this money directly to the people,” said Nabbanja.
She added that unlike before where sub-counties or parishes were picked out for funding, all areas in the region would be covered.
Ojara Mapenduzi urged the Prime Minister and finance minister to create time to interact with Members of Parliament from West Nile, Karamoja, Lango, Teso, Bunyoro, Acholi, Elgon and Bukedi to discuss how to implement the successor programme.
Hon. Gilbert Olanya (FDC, Kilak South County) noted that Northern Uganda has continued to grapple despite interventions by government.
“Madam Prime Minister, you have to take the audit of the performance of Government programmes like NUSAF and NAADS and find out why Northern Uganda and Acholi sub-region are still poor despite these good programs,” said Olanya.
Nabbanja told the House that she made a commitment in writing to the finance minister that funds are provided for the design process of the programme.
Speaker Anita Among said mindset change was vital as it guided the citizenry to think about their personal development.
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