The US government has revealed its plans to start giving food aid to Uganda and a dozen other countries including neighbouring Kenya.
According to a recent announcement by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Mark Green, Uganda is among the 12 countries to benefit from the US global hunger and food security initiative, Feed the Future.
Other countries announced last week include: Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras, Kenya, Mali, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal.
According to Green, this is the second phase of the initiative and it will focus majorly on promoting long-term, sustainable development that brings partners together to help people harness the power of smart agriculture to jumpstart their local economies and lift themselves out of poverty.
“By equipping people with the tools to feed themselves over the long term, Feed the Future is addressing the root causes of hunger and poverty. This long-term investment builds communities that are more resilient to drought, famine and other natural disasters, and less dependent on emergency food assistance,” said Green.
According to the statement released by USAID, the countries were selected based on their need, as well as their opportunity for progress and partnership.
“Each country has committed to working with the United States, and to investing ample effort and resources of its own to tackle food insecurity in its country.”
Feed the Future’s results to date: Unlocking nearly $2.7 billion in agricultural loans and leveraging more than $800 million in private sector capital investments for farmers in Feed the Future countries, since 2011; Generating nearly $2.6 billion in new agricultural sales from 2011 to 2016; Helping U.S. businesses compete and expand into new markets, while increasing demand for U.S. products.
“By supporting policies that open trade and reduce corruption, U.S. food and agricultural exports to Feed the Future partner countries increased by $1 billion from 2009 to 2016; and saving lives,” the statement indicates in part.
The USAID initiative for food aid comes just months after both Kenya and Uganda were hit by famine, prompting the Chinese government to come to their rescue with a donation of over 5900 tonnes of rice worth Shs22billion to Uganda and 21000 tonnes worth Kenyan Shs2.5billion to Kenya in March this year.