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UK gives Shs14b to Uganda for family planning

The UK government has donated $4million (about 14.4bn) to Uganda through the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to improve family planning uptake and also address the population challenges.

The new five-year programme is aimed at adopting a multi-sectoral approach to adolescent sexual and health and reproductive health and rights indoor to increase access to age appropriate sexuality information and services.

It is also intended to strengthen the health system for effective, efficient, equitable and sustainable family planning services to the high burden and hard to reach populations including humanitarian settings.

Ms Jennie Barugh, the head of the UK’s Department for International Development in Uganda, said UKaid will address the key drivers of Uganda’s population challenges, including low level of education, especially among girls, harmful practices such as child marriage, gender based violence and teenage pregnancy, among other issues.

“Working with the government of Uganda to develop its human capital and unleash the potential of its young population is a top priority for the UK government,’ Ms Barugh said, adding that her government will work with all its partners to tackle some of the key drivers of Uganda’s population like fertility.

Mr Alain Sibenaler, the UNFPA Representative, said the support by the UK government is very strategic in helping women and girls to become more empowered to contribute to socio-economic transformation.

“Family planning gives women and couples choice that, in turn, opens up larger possibilities and adds quality to their lives,” said Mr Sibenaler.

The State minister for Youth and Children Affairs, Ms Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi, who represented the Prime Minister, Dr Ruhakana Rugunda at the launch of the programme on Wednesday, indicated that the donation of Shs14.4billion will boost the Uganda’s realization of commitments that were made at the London Summit in 2017.

“At the London Summit , we renewed our commitment to advance family planning and revised the country’s targets to; reduce unmet need for family planning from 28 per cent and; increase modern contraceptives prevalence rate among all women to 50 per cent by 2020,” said Ms Kiyingi.

She also added that government committed to allocate $5million dollars annually for procurement and distribution of health commodities including family planning supplies to the last mile.

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