The World Bank Board has approved a $300 million(shs1.1trillion) budget support operation for Uganda to boost the government’s capacity to prevent, detect and treat the coronavirus, protect the poor and vulnerable population, and support economic recovery.
On Tuesday, the World Bank board of directors approved the loan.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the economy and livelihoods. This budget support operation will enable the government to provide vital services, social safety nets and a more robust shock-responsive system for the long term, and the economy to recover faster,” said Tony Thompson, the World Bank Country Manager for Uganda.
According to the World Bank, the money is the first budget support operation in more than six years and will address the fiscal financing gap while supporting reforms that will provide immediate relief to individuals and businesses that have been most affected by the pandemic.
To secure the financing, government has undertaken policy measures that directly benefit many low-income households.
“Farmers will be supported to access high quality agricultural inputs, seeds and fertilizers using e-vouchers to boost nutrition and food security. Social protection programs through cash for work labor intensive programs will be expanded to benefit 500,000 individuals while the current senior citizen grant will cover an additional 71 districts to support the elderly,” a statement from the World Bank says.
“A national single registry for beneficiaries of safety net programs has been established and additional measures taken to protect children against violence. Uninterrupted access to essential utilities like electricity, water and sanitation services has been guaranteed through subsides, and tax exemption extended to supplies and equipment used in treatment of Covid-19.”
Uganda’s Coronavirus cases are currently at 889 whereas 819 of these have since recovered and no death has been recorded since the first case was recorded in March.