EU development cooperation with Uganda

Reference: MEMO/11/761

Uganda receives support from the European Commission in two main areas: transport/infrastructure and rural development. Under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF), Uganda will benefit from total EU funding of €439 million between 2008 and 2013; mainly in these sectors. The programming also foresees a general budget support programme (so-called MDG contract) as well as activities in non-focal areas, such as democratic governance and civil society. Uganda received EDF funding of €80.8 million in 2010.

The European Commission also finances projects in the areas of environment, civil society, human rights and democracy, health, food security and peace and stability, through the general budget of the European Union.

Examples of EU projects

The Sawlog Production Grant Scheme II Project (EU funding €10 million plus €6 million from the government of Norway)

The European Union is strengthening the rural economy and creating jobs in Uganda by supporting commercial tree planting in the private sector. Commercial growing of good quality timber will help the country address its shortage in supply of timber and reduce the logging of natural forests. In addition to producing timber and poles, the plantations also generate fuel wood material. Since 92% of the energy supply in Uganda currently comes from biomass, this further reduces logging of natural forests.

This four year project (2009-2013) is a continuation from an earlier phase (2004-2009). Some key results:

  • So far, over 25,000 hectares of commercial tree plantations have been established, by 250 individuals and companies.

  • 110 people are trained every year on skills that are essential to the business: contract management, fire protection, plantation maintenance, plantation resource planning and establishment, among others.

  • Quality seedlings and skills training to ensure quality plantations have been provided in 160 small communities.

Beyond this, the programme has helped to establish a professional resource base for key areas such as nursery operations, seed importation, new species (clones) trials, timber quality research and pest and disease monitoring and control.

Collaboration with institutions and partners from the local, regional and international arena has been established to build the commercial forestry sector in Uganda.

The project is also helping to strengthen the Uganda Timber Growers' Association as a lobby, advocacy and trade organization.

Northern Uganda Rehabilitation Programme (NUREP) (€20 million) and Post Floods Rehabilitation of Rural Roads and Social Infrastructure in Northern Uganda (Post Floods) (€5 million)

After decades of war and insecurity in Northern Uganda, the two large projects NUREP and Post Floods have helped the people in Northern Uganda to respond to conflict and post-conflict situations while protecting and improving their livelihoods. These EU projects (2006-2010) were fully integrated in the efforts of the Ugandan government to help build peace and socio-economic recovery in the region.

Together, NUREP and Post Floods rehabilitated or constructed 155 classrooms, 17 secondary schools, 375 latrines, 23 health centres, 67 staff houses, 11 local government offices, 235 boreholes, 15 dams and windmills, 295 km feeder roads, 7 police posts, 618 km of community access roads, 84 acres of woodlots, 5 protected springs, 3 fishponds, 3 cattle crushes and 4 markets.

Thanks to the improved security situation in Uganda, and to the concerted efforts of the Government of Uganda and development projects such as NUREP and Post Floods, the percentage of people living in poverty and extreme poverty declined from 2004 to 2008 by 5-10% in the different northern districts. The number of internally displaced people in Northern Uganda fell from 1.84 million in 2005 to 73,000 in March 2011.

NUREP focused on five areas:

  • providing the tools to support conflict resolution and peace-building

  • supporting human rights and the rule of law

  • supporting internally displaced people in finding coping mechanisms

  • increasing and diversifying livelihood opportunities for local people

  • Supporting local governments in providing basic services.

NUREP also helped in peace-building. It supported the psychosocial rehabilitation of trauma-affected ex-combatants and victims and assisted in the mediation of land-related conflicts for returnees. Furthermore, it contributed to dialogue between the army, "warrior" youth of different tribes and the communities affected by cattle theft.

The Post Floods programme was set up to re-establish people's access to road and basic social infrastructure in the areas of Northern Uganda affected by the 2007 floods, by rehabilitating priority rural roads and bridges, health, education and water and sanitation infrastructure. Post Floods will also contribute to the improvement of all-weather viability in Northern Uganda through the reconstruction of Aswa bridge, which remains operational during periodic flooding.

For more information

IP/11/1311 – EU development cooperation with Uganda