Stability returned to northern Uganda, in a way not seen for decades, in 2006 and 2007 after the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) entered into negotiations for the Cessations of Hostilities Agreement in August 2006. While the agreement was never formally concluded, the more detailed annexes were signed, and over 85% of a total of over 1.1 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the ravaged Acholi sub-region returned home beginning in 2007. It is currently estimated that approximately 11,000 former LRA ex-combatants have been granted amnesty by the Government, whilst anywhere between another 10,000-50,000 LRA ex-combatants and former abductees have either auto-demobilized or did not seek amnesty under the Amnesty Act 2000.
Despite its well-publicized macroeconomic achievements throughout the 1990s, Uganda continues to face socio-economic challenges in the north. In heavily conflict-affected communities where people have only recently returned, poor levels of access to essential services and basic infrastructure are matched by very limited access to jobs, produce markets, and almost no penetration of the financial sector. In Acholi and Lango sub-regions, human rights abuses and atrocities have left behind a legacy of pain and trauma and eroded the social fabric. Furthermore, decentralization and land administration remain contentious issues, causing ongoing friction and intra- and inter-district land disputes in the Northern Uganda.
PBF Priority Area
The Secretary-General declared Uganda eligible to receive PBF support on 3 June 2010. The UN mechanisms to support Uganda’s recovery and peace processes are: the Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP) and the UN Peace Building and Recovery Assistance Programme (UNPRAP). The UNPRAP, which is a sub-set of the UN Development Assistance Framework (2010-2014), is the common strategy for the UN’s operational activities for the transition from humanitarian relief to recovery and long-term development in Northern Uganda. The UNPRAP focuses on four priority areas: human rights, justice and reconciliation; local governance; social services; and livelihoods and socioeconomic safety nets. While the UNCT in Uganda has committed substantial resources to the implementation of the UNPRAP, large funding gaps remain in addressing the urgent and immediate needs of IDPs in social service provision, human rights, transitional justice and reconciliation. The Uganda PBF Priority Plan was designed in response to this critical funding gap and also builds on the comparative advantage of the UN to ensure that support also reaches the most vulnerable individuals in the communities.
The Priority Plan allocated a total of $14 million of PBF funding for Northern Uganda and uses the existing mechanisms to regularly engage and help manage coordination and policy fora with the Government, development partners and NGOs.
In supporting Northern Uganda (Acholi and West Nile regions), the UN aims to assist national authorities to initiate immediate (and priority) recovery actions yielding peace dividends, ensuring crisis resolution and laying the groundwork for longer-term development through strengthened capacity-building and basic service delivery. The PBF Priority Plan facilitates the implementation of projects intended to be short-term interventions with immediate impact, based on peacebuilding priorities for the UN that have been collated in the UNPRAP. The following three programmes have been approved for PBF support:
- Women and children are empowered to overcome specific post-conflict hardship (e.g. psychical and economic security, political participation) and to end gender-based violence and discrimination ($2.5 million, UNICEF & UNFPA)
- Livelihoods and Local Economic Recovery ($5 million; UNCDF, FAO, IOM, WFP, UNDP)
- Peacebuilding through Justice for All and Human Rights ($ 5.9 million)
Quarterly reports for each project are available on the MPTF-O Gateway site