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Covid-19 slows Uganda’s progress on poverty alleviation

Minister in charge of general duties Mary Karooro Okurut during the press confrence at Uganda Media Center

Kampala, Uganda |  THE INDEPENDENT |  Government has said that the covid-19 pandemic has greatly affected its progress in poverty alleviation. The pandemic has also affected progress in eliminating hunger, providing education, clean water and sanitation, and provision of affordable clean energy.

The minister for general duties in the office of the prime minister May Karooro Okurut said this at the launch of the Social Development goals – SDG awareness month by the United Nations resident coordinator Rosa Malango as UN commemorates it’s 75th Anniversary.

Okurut added that for SDGs on sustainable cities, life on land, peace and justice, Uganda’s performance is also stagnating at a rate of below 50% of the growth rate required to achieve the SDGs, partly because of the covid-19 pandemic.

She however said that due to government’s concerted efforts to fight on and save Ugandans from the dire impact of the pandemic, there have been improvements in the health sector, gender equality, industry, decent work, innovation and infrastructure.

Okurut also admitted that the pandemic has increased the gender based violence problem mainly caused by the lockdown which forced people to stay together for a long period and some of them couldn’t bear each other’s social behaviors.

Rosa Malango the UN Resident coordinator backed Okurut’s position on these matters but suggested that as the country goes down the road to economic recovery in the post covid-19 period, all the failures mentioned above should be under critical focus. 

She added that government should also put more focus on fast tracking industrialization as well as protecting the economy and the environment by enhancing creation of green Jobs.

Isaac Ssebulime, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs director in charge of regional economic affairs added that the lockdown which was a measure to curb the spread of covid-19, on the other hand complicated the problem of economic depression. 

He explained that while on the macro level, traders and investors could not import and transact goods, the negative impact was bigger and more felt at the micro level where people could not move to buy or sell for at least more than two months. 

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