Date Published: 8 February 2007

UN Agencies & Belgian Gov bolster food security in Northern Uganda

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UNICEF, WFP and FAO to implement 3-year joint programme supported by Belgian Survival Fund

UNICEF, World Food Programme (WFP) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Uganda today formalised their partnership to strengthen the ongoing response to meet the household food security needs of the most vulnerable populations of Abim, Kaberamaido and Kotido Districts in northeastern Uganda.

Funds for this project have been committed both by the Government of Belgium, through the Belgian Survival Fund, and UNICEF, to a total of US$6.1 million. The three agencies agreed that the three-year project would focus on the household and community levels to address household food and nutrition security, with key aspects including preventative health activities for families, awareness-raising on nutrition issues and efforts to increase family income and food access.

UNICEF Representative in Uganda, Keith McKenzie, speaking today at a ceremony during which the three UN agencies signed their tripartite Memorandum of Understanding, said that the combination of joint resources, expertise and commitment, in partnership with local governments, would be one of the project's most significant aspects.

" We are encouraged by such a unity of purpose being brought to bear to some of the most marginalized and disadvantaged communities in Uganda, and remain committed to enabling these families to secure their own nutrition needs particularly in the face of harsh, cyclic climactic conditions," said McKenzie.

WFP Representative in Uganda, Tesema Negash, said,

" For many years, the World Food Programme has supported Karamoja through relief and development initiatives. Better partnerships and increased government and donor involvement will be the key to promoting self-sufficiency in Karamoja and making a significant difference to a people that have lagged behind too long."

FAO Representative in Uganda, Percy Misika, said that his organisation would bring to the partnership its expertise in implementing the Farmers' Field School Approach, a community-based and participatory learning process designed for groups of farmers, as an "excellent platform to deal with broader livelihood issues such as nutrition, health, sanitation and natural resources management."

The Belgian Survival Fund, created by the Belgian Parliament, provides grants for development projects in Africa to assist vulnerable families to become healthier and more productive, thereby increasing their household food security.

Source(s): UNICEF

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