Uganda loses over 100 million U.S. dollars worth of production capacity annually due to the conflict in the north, according to a report released by Northern Uganda Peace Initiative (NUPI), a local non-governmental organization.
The report, which covers both budget and humanitarian costs incurred by the government of Uganda and the development partners, revealed that the economic and budget costs of the conflict are too high to be sustained by a developing country like Uganda, local press reported on Wednesday..
"By 2002, the overall cost of the conflict in northern Uganda was estimated at 1.33 billion dollars and in 2003 alone, the World Food Program (WFP) spent over 41 million dollars on relief food," the report said.
Director of Northern Uganda Peace Initiative Stig Marker Hansen said over 75 percent of residents in internally displaced persons' camps are not economically productive, leading to significant losses in investment opportunities and taxes.
He said that the destruction of infrastructure severely limits service delivery and has also limited production capacity in the region.
On the flip side, the destruction of infrastructure increases the cost of production and service delivery.
Northern Uganda has posted the lowest development indices with lower-than-average figures. The region has not equitably benefited from the social development that other parts of the country enjoy.
The 20-year conflict in the north has also resulted into massive population displacements with an estimated over 1.4 million people living in 218 crowded camps.
The report said the conflict has significantly impacted on revenue and production capacities of the region in addition to expenditures on defense and humanitarian response, slowing down the national development index.