The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is the United States Government's primary implementer of foreign assistance programs and has been operating in Uganda since the 1960's.
USAID's program is among the largest in sub-Saharan Africa and includes projects to support each of the US Mission's foreign policy objectives in peace and security, governing justly and democratically, health and education, economic growth and humanitarian assistance.
Peace and Security
USAID/Uganda promotes peace and reconciliation while providing humanitarian assistance, protection of vulnerable populations, food security, water, health and education services to people in need.
USAID/Uganda works with the Government of Uganda and civil society toward peace and reconciliation as part of a national process that promotes the return and reintegration of ex-combatants, and dialogue at the community, district, sub-regional and national levels.
Governing Justly and Democratically
Over the last ten years, the United States Government has aimed to strengthen the devolution and separation of powers, fight corruption and foster more effective and participatory governance through capacity-building support to the 6th, 7th and 8th Parliaments, local governments, the Electoral Commission, the Law Reform Commission, the Law Development Centre, civil society, political parties and marginalized groups.
USAID/Uganda works to broaden citizen participation and strengthen grassroots organizations, enabling them to advocate more effectively for reforms in local government and national institutions such as Parliament. USAID/Uganda is also building the capacity of Parliament and improving linkages among citizens, their elected representatives, political parties and local governments.
Investing in People
USAID/Uganda supports the public and private sectors to preserve and nurture human capacity by working towards a healthier and more educated society. Through its many partners and projects, USAID aims to prevent diseases, improve treatment for the sick and enhance health care and support, especially the most vulnerable groups. Many lives can be saved by ensuring that vulnerable populations -- such as infants, children, women of reproductive age, people with disabilities, internally displaced persons, and orphans -- are able to access high quality and affordable social services and related products. These services and products will prevent and manage diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis, malnutrition, diarrhea, and HIV/AIDS, in addition to improving reproductive health.
USAID/Uganda's programs empower individuals and communities to adopt healthy behaviors that contribute to their own well-being, strengthen the ability of government and private sector institutions to deliver services, increase referral networks, and enhance the policy environment. As a focus country for the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) -- a multi-agency USG program -- USAID collaborates with government, religious, and community-based organizations to deliver comprehensive prevention, treatment, care and support services to those infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS, including people living with HIV/AIDS, orphans and other vulnerable children, pregnant mothers, and those affected by the conflict in northern Uganda. Uganda is also a focus country for the President's Malaria Initiative, a collaborative USG effort which aims to reduce the malaria burden for 85% of the targeted vulnerable populations through proven prevention and treatment approaches.
USAID/Uganda contributes to increasing the quality of primary education by training teachers in primary teachers' colleges, and also focuses on leadership training for head teachers and school management committees since these groups are critical to improving the quality of schools. Life skills and HIV/AIDS education are also supported by the USG for both primary and secondary school.
USAID/Uganda seeks to increase and diversify commercial agricultural production and enhance Uganda's
competitiveness in local and international markets. The underlying philosophy of USAID's economic growth strategy is to improve the quality and quantity of marketable products and to solve the problems that hinder the agricultural industry's growth. USAID focuses on cash crops such as maize, coffee, vanilla and oil seeds, with the ultimate goal of increasing the incomes of rural people.
Uganda has a rich environment with many endangered species and species that are endemic to this part of the world. The Albertine Rift Valley in Uganda runs from southern Sudan through western Uganda and represents five unique ecosystems. The important biodiversity that exists in the Albertine Rift Valley is threatened by the heavy impact of the everyday survival activities of people living around the protected areas, such as the collection of wood and water. USAID/Uganda promotes environmentally friendly activities involving the sustainable use of natural resources, including tourism, agriculture, and forestry related enterprises. The program also seeks to reduce conflicts between communities and protected areas by promoting access rights, revenue sharing, and control of problem animals.
The United States Government, through USAID, is the largest overall provider of humanitarian relief assistance in Uganda. USAID's humanitarian relief consists primarily of food aid from its Office of Food for Peace, and non-food humanitarian assistance from its Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA).
Because of the historic conflict situation in northern Uganda and the recurring drought in the pastoralist northeastern region, Uganda continues to require one of the largest emergency food aid operations in the world. The displacement of 1.5 million people in the conflict areas of northern Uganda has resulted in the need for massive amounts of food aid over the past four years, of which USAID has provided over 50% of the food distributed by the World Food Programme. USAID's OFDA non-food humanitarian assistance includes the provision of safe drinking water, improved sanitation conditions, nutritional programming for severely malnourished children, health activities and income generation activities for internally displaced persons.
Although peace talks are underway, no commitments have yet been made. There still exists a need for both food and non-food humanitarian assistance, however as the situation transitions from relief to development, this need will decrease.