As Uganda battles the second wave of the COVID-19 global pandemic, cabinet on Monday resolved that registration of beneficiaries of the proposed COVID-19 relief government support during the 42-day lockdown should immediately start.
The move follows an earlier decision in which government earmarked UGX54.7BN to be disbursed to an estimated 500,000 households in the country whose incomes have been adversely affected by containment measures put in place by government in fighting coronavirus spread.
The households fall into 16 categories of people including; boda-boda riders, salon operators, orphans and vulnerable children, baggage carriers, wheelbarrow pushers, touts and drivers in transport business, Slum dwellers and ghetto residents, bar attendants, deejays, bouncers, private school teachers, gym operators, street vendors, waiters and waitresses, massage parlor workers, food vendors and cooks, shoe shiners and cobblers, special hire drivers, artists, comedians, music producers and promoters.
According to government, every household in urban centers across the country will receive UGX100,000- and disbursement of funds will start on 6th July 2021.
Before that however, officials from Uganda Bureau of Statics (UBOS) and town clerks will conduct registration of would-be beneficiaries contrary to the earlier plan to have Local leaders undertake the process. Initially, LC officials were deemed to be the one with better knowledge of “vulnerable” members of society but cabinet for undisclosed reasons backtracked from this arrangement.
The Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development will oversee the process of registration and identification of beneficiaries.
The cash transfers will be issued over Mobile Money platforms and those without phones or whose sim card registration details do not tally with NIN numbers will be reached using mobile vans under an arrangement with Post Bank Uganda.
It was also proposed that withdrawal fees will be catered for by government.
The proposed amount of 100,000 shillings handout given to each household was based on the following minimum expenditure;
20 Kilograms of Milled Maize Posho at 40,000 (2000 per kilo), 10 Kg of beans at 25,000 (2500 per kilo), 1 Bar of soap at 3000 shillings, 3 liters of cooking oil at 12000. The remaining 20,000 shillings will cater for other needs.
The minster for ICT and National guidance Hon Chris Baryomunsi however stated that beneficiaries can decide on which food they buy and in what quantities but advised them not to spend funds on alcohol.