Uganda MDG’s 1, 6 and 7 Fact File on Uganda Full name: Republic of Uganda Population: 32.7 million (UN, 2009) Capital: Kampala Major languages: English (official), Swahili (official) Luganda, various Bantu and Nilotic languages Life expectancy: 52 years (men), 53 years (women) (UN) Main exports: Coffee, fish and fish products, tea; tobacco, cotton, corn, beans, sesame Where is Uganda? Uganda Up Close Poverty and Hunger: What are they? Poverty refers to people not having enough money to meet basic needs including food, clothing and shelter. It takes into account the people who are earning below $1.25 per day Hunger can be defined as the discomfort, weakness, or pain caused by a prolonged lack of food. It technically refers to people who regularly consume less that 2,100 calories per day. Uganda has an average calorie intake daily of 2,200-2,599 calories. MDG 1: Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger ‘Since 1986, Uganda has transformed from a nearly failed state to a country that has achieved consistently high economic growth rates. Uganda’s GDP is currently approximately 5%, significantly higher than the 3.3% recorded for the Sub-Saharan region. Poverty levels declined significantly from 56% in 1992 to 31% in 2005’ (www.irishaid.gov.ie). MDG 1: Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger The main plan of action is outlined by ‘Uganda’s Poverty Eradication Action Plan’, otherwise known as the PEAP. This plan provides a framework for donors (like Ireland) who offer assistance. The PEAP seeks to: restore sustainable growth in the incomes of the poor increase the productivity and competitiveness of the economy restore security, resolve conflicts, and improve regional equity strengthen governance enhance human development (www.mdgmonitor.org) Millennium Development Goal 6 MDG6 aims to combat diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. According to 80:20, this is perhaps, the MDG least likely to be met. Infection rates have risen, with not a single country coming close to meeting the goal. Trocaire described HIV/AIDS as ‘the most devastating pandemic humankind has ever faced, taking over 25 million lives in the last 25 years.’ Presently, there are 33.2 million people living with HIV/AIDS. MDG6 in Uganda Despite the grim statistics worldwide, Uganda has actually led the fight against HIV/AIDS. Nevertheless, even its declining trends in HIV infection do not cover up the fact that HIV related illnesses continues to be the leading cause of mortality in Uganda. ABC programme Uganda’s first step to resolving the problem was taken in 1987 when the government set up an education programme. - Abstinence - Be Faithful - Condoms The nineties saw a fall in cases of HIV and the current statistic rests at about 5.4 percent amongst adults. How does the Irish Aid project help? In an attempt to address the crisis in Uganda, Irish Aid focuses on 3 areas - Prevention - Home based care and treatment - Orphans and vulnerable children This programme works in conjunction with the Ugandan government in place and is showing some signs of success in the lowering statistics. Millennium Development Goal 7 This goal aims to... - ensure environmental sustainability - halve the population without safe drinking water While some argue that MDG7 is the least important, it is in fact one of the keys to achieving the other MDGs. The Development Goals recognise that environmental sustainability is an important part of improving our world and forms the basis for successful living and self-sustenance. Natural Resources Unfortunately, exploitation of natural resources such as forests, land and water, often by the minority with power, have damaged our natural world in recent decades, wreaking havoc for the most vulnerable people in the world who depend on natural resources for their livelihood. The 80:20 publication claims the achievement of the goal to be very unlikely, a disappointing reality. MDG7 in Uganda Uganda’s economy is based predominantly around its agriculture sector. About one third of the land in Uganda is used for cultivation – very clear that MDG7 is an important goal for the country. While agriculture is an important industry for Uganda, the country has very little security in the sector. Ugandan and Irish efforts In 2000, the Plan for Modernisation of Agriculture (PMA) was set up by the Ugandan Government in an attempt to eradicate poverty through a number of strategies. Irish Aid supports the agricultural section of this plan, known as the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS). PMA noted good, realistic progress in its first 3 years. Addressing the Problem While good efforts are being made to address the issue of sustainable development, the success of this project relies heavily upon the availability of safe water. The Ugandan government spends an estimated 20 million dollars each year to combat the problems associated with water sanitation and waterborne diseases. Water and Sanitation The Water and Sanitation Program - Africa Region (WSPAF), a programme set up by the World Bank, reports that... - 440 children in Uganda die every week from waterborne diseases. - 90 percent of wastewater in Africa is untreated, ‘further degrading the environment and endangering peoples’ lives.’ Achieving MDG 7 The UN World Health Organisation has claimed that meeting MDG 7 (Target 10) would cost as low as 8 billion dollars. Think about the knock on effect this MDG would have on every other aspect in the Developing world. The Future Uganda has had a turbulent past, to say the least. From Obote to Idi Amin, Uganda’s people have fought through the reigns of many dictators. While these men are the in the past, Uganda now faces a new political challenge with the rising of the Lord’s Resistance Army. Now under President Museveni, Uganda is showing strong signs of improvement and is one of the most hopeful of the sub Saharan countries.