The World Bank provides an additional 300 million dollars to boost the provision of services through Uganda’s local government.
World Bank directors on Monday approved additional funding for the Uganda Interim Financial Transfer Program (UGFT) to boost local government (LG) service delivery, including education, health, water and the environment and micro-irrigation. In areas that provide large populations of refugees.
This funding comprises an IDA Refugee Support Window (RSW) for a $240 million and $60 million funding. Additional funding creates the initial success of the original Ugandan Intergovernmental Transfer Program (UGFT), which is valued at the US $200 million to support service delivery in the health and education sectors.
The UgIFT program contributes to the Government’s Intergovernmental Money Transfer Reform Program (IFTRP), which aims to strengthen local government funding, increase overall funding, and reduce local government funding for service delivery.
IFTRP also aims to improve service delivery by strengthening federal oversight, evaluating local government, sub-district, school and health facility performance, providing performance incentives and supporting poorly performing local governments.
- Advertisement -
“The provision of UGFT services will help achieve the dual goals of improving the value of money and reducing inequalities in public spending on social services, thereby ending extreme poverty and sustainably promoting shared prosperity. Funding for health and other basic services in crisis during COVID-19 epidemics This is a significant step forward, “said Tony Thompson, World Bank Country Manager.
Integrated, original and additional UGFT funding will build, equip and operate at least 259 new high schools.
The existing 1,000 primary schools will receive development grants to upgrade and equip their facilities to provide better learning environments and meet basic standards.
Labs will be built in high schools that do not have them. A total of 14,000 elementary and 1,400 high school teachers will be recruited in the minimum working districts so they can meet the minimum school staffing levels.
Additional inspectors will be appointed to fill the ratio of 1 inspector to 40 inspectors. Grants for elementary and middle schools will help schools make instructional materials available to teachers and maintain facilities based on student numbers.
- Advertisement -
Also, financial incentives linked to school performance will be tested and phased out.
In health, the integrated program will upgrade 380 facilities to Health Center III (HCIII) status. To restructure, expand and equip their facilities to meet the minimum standards, up to 500 health centres can receive development aid.
At least 11,000 health workers will be recruited for districts with the lowest number of employees. Results-based funding will be key, creating benefits for service delivery performance.
- Advertisement -
Allocations for essential medicines will be increased and the mechanisms for allocating those items and the transparency of the allocation will be improved through digitalization.
Additional funding will enable UgIFT to expand to two additional sectors – water and the environment and small-scale irrigation – to enhance safe water security in the least served sub-districts, improve the functioning of existing drinking water supply sources, and enable investments. Water supply to public institutions, including newly built schools and health facilities.
It is estimated that 750,000 people will benefit from new or repaired water facilities. Districts and municipalities will promote environmental management activities, initially focusing on the implementation of public investments, including watershed management and deforestation measures.
Concerning micro-irrigation, 8,000 small business farmers in 40 districts will have access to appropriate grants for the purchase and use of micro-irrigation equipment, contributing to income and food security in rural areas through improved agricultural productivity and improving the climate recession of the poor and vulnerable farming communities.
Egypt also assists in coordinating the delivery of services to refugees and their host communities in thirteen districts. In doing so, refugees will be treated as population allocation formulas, and UGFT will support the transition from humanitarian funding with services managed by LG to integrate funding of service delivery for refugees and their hosts.
“The project’s deep focus on additional funding, service delivery and performance for local governments, the expansion of the program to include in water and micro-irrigation and the integration of service delivery for refugees and their hosts provides a unique opportunity to revitalize local service delivery across Uganda,” said a senior public sector expert for the World Bank. Said team chairman Tim Williamson.
The UGFT project completes other World Bank Group investments in Uganda, including Uganda’s support for the Municipal Infrastructure Development Project (USMIT), which finances urban development in municipalities, and the Discretionary Development Equalization Grant (DDEG).
In collaboration with other central government institutions, including the Prime Minister’s office and the Local Government Ministries, the Ministry of Health, Education and Sports, Water and Environment, and agriculture, animal industry and fisheries, the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economy Development leads the implementation of UgIFT.
World Bank funding project in Uganda
The World Bank Group, one of the largest sources of finance and knowledge for developing countries, has provided more than $10 billion in funding to Uganda since 1963. The bank’s current portfolio in Uganda has 24 operations for a total commitment of $2.8 billion.
Founded in 1960, the International Development Agency (IDA) of the World Bank supports the poorest countries of the world through grants and no-interest loans for economic growth programs, poverty reduction, and poor lives.
In the 76 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa, the IDA is one of the world’s largest source of assistance. IDA’s resources are bringing positive change to the 1.6 billion people living in IDA countries.
Development work in 113 countries has been supported by IDA since 1960. Annual obligations over the past three years have averaged $21 billion, with about 61 per cent going to Africa.