USAID Asst. Administrator reviews food, security situation in Uganda pledges additional food aid

KAMPALA, UGANDA - Roger Winter, USAID Assistant Administrator for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance (DCHA) ended a three-day visit to Uganda with meetings with President Yoweri Museveni and Prime Minister Apollo Nsimbabi in Kampala yesterday. His visit, to assess the humanitarian and security situation in the country, included meetings with various government officials and representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Kampala and a trip to Gulu in northern Uganda to review the ongoing humanitarian crisis there. During his trip to Gulu on February 11th, Winter visited the Lacor hospital, a camp for internally displaced persons and the GUSCO Reception Center. This center houses children who have been freed or escaped after being abducted by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA).
In his meetings with President Museveni and Prime Minister Nsibambi on Wednesday, Winter emphasized U.S. concerns about the continuing crisis in the north resulting from the ongoing terror campaign by the LRA. He also stressed the need for increased humanitarian access to the north and praised the government of Uganda for the support it has already provided for these activities. The two parties also discussed the $15 billion emergency plan for AIDS relief announced by President Bush in his State of the Union address two weeks ago.

While in Uganda Winter also announced that USAID would contribute another 25,000 metric tons of food aid to help meet the needs in the north of the country, in addition to the 20,000 metric tons already pledged in December 2002. This amounts to 42 percent of the total amount of food needed by affected populations in the north of the country for the first six months of 2003, as estimated by the World Food Program (WFP).

"President Bush and the U.S. government are concerned about the food and security situation in the country, and this new food pledge is intended to help address that concern," said Winter after his meeting with President Museveni. "The goal of my visit is to underline the U.S. commitment to helping Uganda meets its needs and focus attention on the situation in the north of the country."

Following his trip to Uganda Winter continued on to Kenya, after which he will join U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. agencies for Food and Agriculture Tony Hall and U.S. Senator Bill Nelson in Ethiopia from February 16th to 19th. He will conclude his trip to Africa with a series of meetings in Sudan.

Contact: USAID Press Office
(202) 712-4320