An egg plant harvest from a WFP-supported project. Copyright: WFP/Lydia wamala
In a bid to help end vulnerability in the impoverished Karamoja region, WFP is investing more in support of livelihoods.
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has expanded its assets-creation programme to help strengthen livelihoods in the Karamoja region.
The programme, which reached an estimated 300,000 people last year, will this year support more than 440,000 who will work on community assets such as dams and irrigation schemes as well as the planting of staple crops, vegetables and fruit trees. Its aim is to help communities diversify and become more resilient to shocks.
“Karamoja has been dependent on food aid for too long,” says WFP’s Uganda Country Director, Stanlake Samkange. “WFP is determined to help bring an end to this. People in the region face chronic food shortages and malnutrition but, if we can help them to better provide for their livestock and increase crop production, then there will be more food available for families in need.”
A hunger solutions strategy
Samkange said that the programme, to be implemented through the Government of Uganda’s Second Northern Uganda Social Action Fund, has proved crucial in devising long term solutions to hunger in Karamoja.
Working with local leaders, the Office of the Prime Minister, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization and other partners, WFP will provide food or cash for families whose able-bodied members engage in assets construction.
Last year, WFP supported the creation of 200 acres of crops including cassava, beans and sorghum, as well as 165 acres of trees, orchards and vegetable gardens and 57 surface dams across Karamoja.
Karamoja’s chronic food shortages and malnutrition have been attributed to a variety of factors including consecutive years of drought, poor harvests, limited livelihood opportunities, chronic poverty, insecurity and environmental destruction.
Contributions to the livelihoods programme this year have so far come from the United Kingdom (US$9.3 million) and Japan (US$ 1 million). The total cost of the programme this year is US$ 23 million.