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COVID-19 vulnerability assessment underway in Arua

FILE PHOTO: Relief food aid

Arua, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | An assessment is underway in Arua Municipality to establish the level of need for food aid and other assistance arising out of the COVID-19 lockdown.

The assessment led by the Assistant Town Clerk comes a month after reports that a sizeable number of residents in the Municipality is starving because of the disruption caused by lockdowns to contain the spread of coronavirus disease.

Cornelius Jobile, the Assistant Town Clerk Arua Municipality said the lockdown has crippled over 200,000 people who were earning from hand to mouth prior to the announcement of the measures. Jobile is optimistic that the vulnerability assessment will help to identify the neediest persons in the Municipality to benefit from donations that have been collected from various people.

Reports indicate that since the ban on public transport and non-food businesses, a quarter of the population in River Oli division has left the town for villages in the districts of Yumbe, Koboko, Maracha, Madi Okollo and Terego county.

Arua Municipal Council has so far received some food and sanitary support from China Huangpaei Food Machinery ltd, Arua Women Honey Sellers Association and some business entities to support the starving population especially in River Oli division.

But the leaders argue that the donations are not enough to meet the overwhelming need. Arua municipality Mayor Isa Kato explains that many of the people in the Municipality whose earnings cannot enable them to save sufficiently need urgent help.

The Municipality has also received food and other donations from business and development partners to a tune of 50 million Shillings which the political and the technical officers say should be managed independently from the district COVID-19 taskforce headed by the Resident District Commissioner and the District Health Officer.

The ten-member vulnerability assessment team is expected to provide their report and food distribution this week.



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