Vulnerable Ugandans are set to get paid between Shs 100,000 and Shs 240,000 per adult per month for the next three months.
The money will be provided by the United States Mission in Uganda from the US Agency for International Development which awarded an additional $10 million (about Shs 37.8 billion) funding this week to GiveDirectly, a global NGO specialized in delivering digital cash transfers.
Chris Krafft, the Head of the US Mission in Uganda says the money will support tens of thousands of vulnerable Ugandans who will receive direct cash grants of $25 (about Shs 100,000) a month per adult in the most affected communities over a period of three months.
This is based on the fact that as government imposed lockdowns to limit the spread of COVID-19, many families were suddenly unable to continue earning a living.
According to the GiveDirectily website, each selected household will receive $60–75 in total, spread over 1–3 payments. The transfer size of between Shs 100,000 and Shs 240,000 per select Ugandan is based on analysis of household consumption and minimum expenditure needs.
The first payments were sent out in April 2020.
“As many people are reduced to eating meagre rations and face the threat of starvation due to the impact of COVID-19 and necessary restrictions, the monthly cash grant will help them meet their basic needs,” Krafft explained.
The additional funding follows an earlier contribution of $15 million (about Shs 56 billion) to Uganda’s COVID-19 response.
The money is supporting the salaries of additional personnel as well as critical equipment, helping to upgrade health centres with electronic data systems across the nation, and expanding laboratory capacity so that more testing can be done.
Krafft added that they have also contributed funding to enhance children protection, to support refugees and their host communities, and to monitor human rights abuses occurring as a result of the pandemic.
The United States secretary of state Mike Pompeo recently announced that America made a commitment of an additional $162 million for the global COVID-19 response bringing the total contribution to-date to more than $1 billion since the coronavirus outbreak began. Krafft says that it’s from this commitment that Uganda is getting additional funding of $10 million.
Last week, Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda told parliament that the National COVID-19 Fund has received donations worth Shs 28 billion since its establishment, in response to the needs occasioned by an outbreak of coronavirus disease.
The donations he said, included cash, assorted food items, medical supplies, vehicles and other non-food items. The fund targets to raise Shs 170 billion.