Ireland Commits €900,000 To WFP To Assist Refugees And School Children In Karamoja

KAMPALA –Irish Aid today committed critical funding that will enable the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to assist more than 100,000 school children in Karamoja and nearly 150,000 South Sudanese refugees living in transit centres and settlements in northern Uganda.

Signing a Memorandum of Understanding in Kampala with acting WFP Country Director Michael Dunford, the Ambassador of Ireland, Donal Cronin, committed €450,000 for the WFP school feeding programme in Karamoja sub-region and another €450,000 for refugees in West Nile.

“Ireland has a strong tradition of generously responding to people in need,” said Ambassador Cronin. “Now that the food security situation in Karamoja is at a critical point at this time of the year, and the number of refugees in Uganda is high, Irish Aid and the Embassy of Ireland are pleased to be able to respond to this urgent need in partnership with WFP and the Government of Uganda”. Ambassador Cronin went on to say: “In our valued partnership with the Government of Uganda this support is a strong complement to our other areas of development assistance in Uganda in the Social Protection, HIV and AIDS, education and good governance sectors”.

WFP will use the committed funds to buy food for use in its school meals and refugee assistance programmes, including beans and maize grains grown locally in Uganda from small-scale farmer groups. These initiatives are expected to increase school enrolment, retention and completion rates in Karamoja, and to improve nutrition for the refugees in West Nile.

“School feeding is one of the ways WFP is working with the Government to fill food gaps among the most vulnerable households,” said Michael Dunford. “The programme also encourages children to enrol and stay in school, and therefore invest in their futures.”

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WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 75 countries.

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For more information please contact:
Frank Kirwan, Tel. (office) +256 417 713 128 or (cell) +256 772 744 789
Lydia Wamala, WFP/Kampala, Tel. (office) +256 312 242 000, (cell) +256 758 778 037, +256 772 287 034, email: Lydia.wamala@wfp.org