American soldiers from the Combined Joint Task Force- Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) will provide animal treatment and care services during a veterinary civic action project (VETCAP) in Gulu starting March 16 to April 17, US Embassy announced last week.Â
The US soldiers from the 360th Functional Specialty Team will be working side by side with Ugandan veterinarians and government officials to provide care to livestock in and around the Gulu/Amuru region. They will visit 41 villages during this period and inoculate or treat up to 75,000 animals owned by ordinary Ugandans.Â Participation in the VETCAP program is completely voluntary and free of charge.Â
CJTF-HOA is a US military contingent based in Djibouti.Â Its mission here is to support the US efforts in Uganda to promote security and prosperity in the country in partnership with the government at the central and local levels.Â
This activity will therefore complement the broader effort of the Ugandan government and the people of northern Uganda to rebuild and revitalise the economy of the north.
ICRC gives seed to 100,000 in north
TheÂ International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is launchingÂ aÂ newÂ projectÂ toÂ helpÂ vulnerableÂ peopleÂ acquire seed and agricultural toolsÂ in selected areas of Acholiland. Approximately 100,000 displaced persons returning to their homes in northern Uganda will receive enough seed to plant almost a hectare of land per family and therefore boost food production considerably.
â€œThese farmers have all been affected by conflict. Most of them have access to land but cannot afford to buy seed and agricultural implements,â€ said Janet Angelei, ICRC Economic Security coordinator.
In Amuru, almost 3,800 families will receive vouchers enabling them to buy quality seed and implements from local traders. Merchants will be required to sell certified seeds to ensure that the beneficiaries obtain a quality product.
In Kitgum and Pader, ICRC will support more than 6,600 families by organising seed trade on local markets. The ICRC is working with the FAO and the Ministry of Agriculture to ensure appropriate organisation and quality of seed. These seed fairs take place March 11-30.
At the beginning of March, and prior to the onset of the rainy season, ICRC distributed seed and tools directly to 7,700 families in Orom sub-county, Kitgum district, where quality seed is not available in sufficient quantities.
ICRC has been working in Uganda since.
French commander (Left) training UPDF soldiers in Singo, Nakasongola District in preparation for Somali Peace Mission last year.
USAID donates $5m in humanitarian aid
The US Embassy in Kampala last week announced that the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) would provide US $5 million in humanitarian assistance to improve and diversify household assets for food-insecure populations in Uganda.Â
The US $5 million grant, awarded under USAIDâ€™s Horn Food Price Crisis Response (HFPCR), is part of the US Presidentâ€™s US $770 million Food Price Crisis Initiative and will be implemented over the next two and half years. The programme is designed to bridge short-term humanitarian assistance with longer-term recovery activities and will have a strong Karamoja component.
USAID implementing partners Mercy Corps, Medair, and the International Rescue Committee will target the humanitarian assistance to more than 300,000 beneficiaries in the Karamoja sub-region and will include the distribution of fast maturing and drought-resistant seeds, work programmes to improve market access, and improved animal health services.Â
Since 1997, USAID has provided more than US $427 million in humanitarian assistance to Uganda, including nearly US $70 million in USAID/OFDA emergency interventions.