GOVERNMENT OPERATIONALIZES THE SECOND PHASE OF USMID PROGRAM- THE ADDITIONAL FINANCING (2019/19- 2022/23)
After the successful implementation of the first phase of the Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure Development (USMID) Program, Government, has received additional financing to the tune of US$ 360 million from the World Bank/IDA to implement the second phase of the Program (USMID Additional Financing-USMID-AF) for 5 years starting in fiscal year 2018/19.
USMID-AF will maintain the development objective of “Enhancing Institutional Capacity of Selected Local Governments” BUT the geographical coverage of the Program will extend to Eight additional municipal local governments of Kitgum, Kamuli, Mubende, Kasese, Busia, Ntungamo, Apac and Lugazi and also introduce support to 8 districts of Adjumani, Moyo, Yumbe, Arua, Isingiro, Kiryandongo, Kamwenge and Lamwo, that have faced a high influx of refugees to strengthen these LGs’ abilities to cope with the recent and future refugee influx in Uganda and to deliver critical infrastructure to host communities/local governments. The program will deepen impact and results in terms of institutional strengthening, planning and financial management, infrastructure provision and local economic development. USMID-AF draws a lot of lessons from the implementation of the first phase of USMID.
The Ministry and the Program Support Team has prepared an Operational Manual for USMID-AF in order to guide the participating Municipal and District Local Governments in the implementation of the Program.
Improvements to the operational manual have been drawn from lessons learned from implementing the first phase of USMID and the manual includes the performance assessment tool that will be used for verifying program performance at the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Municipal and District Local Governments level by the Independent Verification Agent (IVA) among others.
The program will be executed and coordinated by the MLHUD which is responsible for urban development. The institutional strengthening at the municipal Local Governments level will target technical, fiduciary (financial and procurement), Local Economic Development and environmental and social sustainability with a focus on the following seven thematic areas:
i. Improved linkage between Municipal Physical Development Plan, Five-year Development Plan and Budgeting;
ii. Increased municipal own source revenue (OSR);
iii. Improved procurement performance;
iv. Improved municipal Accounting and core financial management
v. Improved Execution/Implementation of infrastructure sub-projects for improved urban service delivery;
vi. Improved accountability and transparency (monitoring and communication); and
vii. Enhanced environmental and social sustainability (Environmental, social and resettlement due diligence).
Support to Refugee hosting districts
Uganda is currently the largest host of refugees in Africa and the third-largest host in the world, with over 1.4 million refugees. Refugees settled in Northern Uganda, predominantly in the West-Nile sub-region, now constitute more than one-third of district populations.
The influx of refugees has turned the rural communities into settlements with urban characteristics. Uganda has one of the most progressive refugee regimes in the world, where refugees have right to work, establish business, move freely within the country, access social services, own property, and obtain documentation.
Refugees are also given plots of land on which to cultivate and build houses. This is putting enormous pressure on the Local Governments’ ability to provide adequate infrastructure and services to this rapidly increased population, given that refugees are not limited to refugee settlements and can freely move to urban areas and access services.
Most long-term refugees have failed to “graduate” from humanitarian aid at a time when humanitarian budgets are shrinking. It is therefore, critical to find ways to transition from humanitarian to development responses in Uganda and move from parallel to integrated service provision. USMID-AF will contribute directly to this aim through infrastructure investments and strengthening of the planning process, which will seek to facilitate the transition from the emergency response to long-term development and socio-economic integration.
The support to the Eight districts currently hosting large numbers of refugees shall be aimed at improving planning, land tenure security, and small infrastructure investments targeting refugees and host communities.
The support to infrastructure in the Refugee hosting districts;
a) District and Community Access Roads to make them motorable throughout the year for easy mobility and access of services by both host communities as well as refugees; and
b) Infrastructure strengthening interaction and peaceful co-existence amongst host communities and refugees.
Examples of such infrastructure shall be;
a. small bridges and box culverts on impassable sections;
b. Culverts and fill material to address bottlenecks in swampy areas;
c. Removing black spots prone to accidents
d. Infrastructure promoting sports, art and culture (play fields, resource centers, community buildings.