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U.S. gives US$8.3 million for groups at risk in Karamoja

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A new donation from the United States is expected to help WFP support the extremely vulnerable in Uganda's poorest region, Karamoja

KAMPALA – The U.S. Government has announced a contribution of US$8.3 million to the UN World Food Programme (WFP) to support vulnerable groups, including malnourished children, in the Karamoja region.

Ambassador Jerry P. Lanier said the donation, made through the Food for Peace initiative, would enable WFP to provide relief, nutrition, awareness training and other assistance to an estimated 173,000 people this year. He underlined the U.S. Government's commitment to support WFP in addressing critical concerns in Karamoja, while also recognizing the need to build agricultural self-sufficiency in the region.

“Karamoja suffers from chronic food shortages and malnutrition,” said WFP Country Director Sory Ouane. “While many people are increasingly engaged in asset-creation projects and increasing their self-reliance, there remain many vulnerable people who need unconditional relief support. This donation will help us give them vital assistance.”

WFP is working with the Government of Uganda to find lasting solutions to regional vulnerability. Through the Government of Uganda's Second Northern Uganda Social Action Fund's asset-creation program, able-bodied people work on community assets such as dams and vegetable gardens in exchange for WFP food and cash assistance. The initiative has enabled WFP to reduce considerably the number of people receiving relief support in Karamoja. In 2009, more than one million people received WFP relief support. Over two years - 2010 and 2011 - some 400,000 people received relief support, whereas last year alone around 460,00 people were receiving assistance in return for work on asset-creation projects.