Uganda, Ireland sign five-year 166 million Euro aid package

20:13, June 30, 2010      

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The Ugandan and Irish governments on Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in which Ireland will offer aid worth 166 million Euros over the next five years to the East African country.

Syda Bbumba, Uganda's finance minister and the visiting Irish foreign minister Micheal Martin signed the MOU here at the ministry of finance headquarters.

The aid will be allocated to development programs focusing on HIV/AIDS, education, gender, governance and private sector development.

Bbumba thanked the Irish government for the aid despite the effects of the global economic downturn.

She said the assistance will help to reduce chronic poverty which is in line with the country's recently launched five-year National Development Plan.

"Your continued assistance together with other development partners will continue to contribute to further reduction of the number of people living below the poverty line to less than 15 percent in the long run," she said.

According to ministry of finance figures, 31 percent of Ugandans live on less than one dollar a day and are unable to meet their basic requirements. Martin said that despite the effects of the global economic downturn, Ireland would not cut down its aid to priority countries like Uganda.

He said despite the economic success the country has gained like reducing poverty levels from 52 percent in 1992 to the current 31 percent, there are still key challenges.

"Despite the rapid progress that has been made there are still many who have very little. Some 7 million people live in chronic poverty. That is the stark challenge we face," he said.



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