PRESS RELEASE: Government of Uganda and United Nations launch new initiative to address food security and strengthen ecosystems in Karamoja region

May 18, 2018

A backdrop signed by representatives of the Government of Uganda, the UN and Karamoja local leaders signifies the start of the new food security and eco systems resilience project launched in Moroto (Photo Credit: UNDP Uganda 2018).

Moroto, Uganda (18.May.2018) – The Government of Uganda, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) have come together to launch a new five year food security and ecosystems resilience initiative for the Karamoja region in North-Eastern Uganda.  Honourable Vincent Sempijja, Minister for Agriculture and Ms. Rosa Malango, the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative for Uganda will launch this initiative in Moroto district. The FAO Deputy Country Representative and District Local Government Officials from Karamoja region will be among key participants.

Entitled, Fostering Sustainability and Resilience for Food Security in the Karamoja Region (SURE –Karamoja), this initiative – the first of its kind in the region supported by the Global Environment Fund (GEF) - will focus on improving food security and environmental sustainability in this region. This initiative is funded by the Global Environment Fund to a tune of US$ 7 million, in addition to UNDP with a  US$ 13 million contribution and co-financing from the Government of Uganda including US$ 24 million from the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) and  US$ 21 million from Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries.   

“Through this initiative we will work with local authorities and communities to increase food production, land productivity and environmental sustainability. We will also help diversify opportunities for local communities to improve their livelihoods. This is key to ensuring that no one is left behind as Uganda implements its National Vision and the Sustainable Development Goals in this region,” said Ms. Malango. She added that this timely initiative enables Uganda to address the impacts of climate change which are threatening food security and livelihoods around the world including Uganda, by empowering communities who depend on their natural resources for their livelihoods.

In Karamoja, climate change effects can be seen in the more frequent flash floods after heavy downpours that have claimed a number of lives and also made transportation through the region difficult affecting economic growth and access to basic services.

“This new initiative will build on and add value to work started by other projects by delivering innovative practices, technologies and approaches that enhance the resilience of food production systems and long-term environmental sustainability in the Karamoja sub-region in line with the National Vision, ” said Hon. Vincent Sempijja.

It will be implemented by Government of Uganda through the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry & Fisheries (MAAIF), with support from UNDP, FAO, the four District Local Governments and various other partners from Private Sector and Civil Society.

Communities in four districts including - Kotido, Kaabong, Nakapiripirit and Moroto will benefit from this initiative by becoming active participants as the UN works with the local leadership to demonstrate and promote climate smart agricultural practises which increase crop yield while protecting the environment. These approaches have been tested successfully in other cattle corridor districts in Eastern Uganda where yield for crops such as beans and maize has doubled per unit of land area. In addition, this initiative will promote soil and water conservation, which is important for the region as soils are drained of water as soon as the dry season sets in. Most importantly, the project will promote agro-pastoral systems, encouraging farmers to keep their cattle which are an important resource for the people of Karamoja while increasing the yield of their harvests.

For more information contact:
Doreen Kansiime,
Communications Assistant, UNDP Uganda,
Tel No.: 0772289128
 
Agatha Ayebazibwe,
Communications Officer, FAO Uganda,
Tel No.: 0779442502
 
Bushrah Namirimu,
Public Relations Officer - Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF)
Tel No.: 0779033344

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