Gulu: The Chinese government has donated more than 200 containers of rice to the Ministry of Disaster Preparedness and Refugees in a bid to help alleviate the looming hunger in the country.
The revelation was made by the Minister for Disaster Preparedness and Refugees and Member of Parliament for Lamwo County Hillary Onek during an interview with Daily Monitor in Gulu Town at the weekend.
He said the donation is already in government stores waiting to be distributed across 80 districts that have been assessed.
“We are very grateful to the Chinese government for the aid. The containers carry 300 bags of rice each and am sure each of the 80 districts will get three containers of the food items,” Mr Onek said.
He added that following their assessment, it was discovered that 80 of the 112 districts need urgent food aid. The Disaster ministry is yet to negotiate with government to step up funding towards food aid.
“We had presented a budget of more than Shs50 billion, but we have only been given Shs.10b to procure relief items. This is very inadequate although the procurement is in progress.”
Meanwhile, in Karamoja, more than 10,000 heads of cattle have been driven into Lango sub-region as thousands of cows starve to death following the extensive drought that has left all dams in the region nearly dry while dams in the cattle corridor areas of Nakasongola and Nakasekke have dried out.
In August 2016, the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification analysis report indicated that 16 per cent of Uganda population could be prone to hunger.
According to the Disaster Preparedness and Refugees ministry, the country is experiencing intensive and extensive drought that has left nearly nine million people including farmers and herdsmen in despair as crops dry up and animals starve to death.