World Bank pumps $300m into recovering Uganda’s economy

Tony Thompson Tony Thompson, the country manager of World Bank.

World Bank on Monday allowed release $300 million to support Uganda as its sheds off the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on its economy.

According to the World Bank, the funds will help to boost the government’s capacity to prevent, detect and treat the coronavirus, protect the poor and vulnerable population, and support economic recovery.

“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, World Bank Country Manager for Uganda.

As of June 30, Uganda had registered 889 cases of Covid-19 and 819 recoveries, with no fatalities.

Containment measures such as restrictions on travel, public gatherings, closure of businesses and schools has had severe impact on the economy and people’s livelihoods.

An estimated 3.15 million could fall deeper into poverty, adding to the 8.7 million people Ugandans currently living below the poverty line.

This has been worsened by the onset of heavy rains and flooding, and a locust invasion whose impact was expected during April-June of 2020. Overall economic growth is projected at 3 to 4 percent in FY2019/20, lower than the 6.3 percent that had been anticipated for the year.

To secure the financing, Uganda 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 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 the treatment of COVID-19.

To stimulate recovery of private sector, businesses in distress will receive tax relief alongside the liquidity measures from the Central Bank to commercial banks, microfinance institutions and credit institutions, that allows them to provide a moratorium on loan repayment for businesses and individual borrowers that have been affected by the pandemic for up to 12 months.

In addition, Government has committed to stronger transparency and management of state-owned enterprises debt and payment of domestic arears to suppliers.

Spread the love

leave a reply