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Uganda receives UGX 563bn World Bank cash for forest management

Entebbe, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The World Bank has approved USD 148.2m (Shs 563bn) financing for Uganda to use to manage and restore its forests cover.

The money according to the lender is also expected to have spillover benefits to forest dependent communities like refugees and their host communities.

In a statement issued today, the World Bank said that the funds are part of a loan and part of a grant. Some USD78.2 million (Shs 297bn) of this financing is a concessional loan, while USD70 million (Shs 266bn) is a grant.

The money will go towards the investing in forests and protected areas for Climate-Smart Development Project under the Ministry of Water and Environment. This focuses on the Albertine region and the refugee-hosting areas in Northern Uganda.

The bank said in a statement that “the project will finance infrastructure and equipment for management and protection of forests”.

It will cover seven National Parks, four wildlife reserves and up to 28 forest reserves and development of key tourism infrastructure.”

“The project will invest in plantation forestry and wood value chains with the aim of enabling plantation forestry to become a strong and self-sustaining economic sector,” said the statement.

Tony Thompson, World Bank country manager for Uganda has applauded the offer saying it “will provide vital assistance to vulnerable communities that depend on forests to withstand climate shocks.”

Uganda has lost close to two thirds of its forest cover since 1990.  Uganda Bureau of Statistics reports that in 2015, Uganda had a total area of 1.95 million hectares of forest land compared to 4.93 million hectares in 1990 – a reduction of more than 60 percent over a period of 25 years.

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