Uganda: 30 billion youth funds lie idle

Uganda's Youth Funds
Funds meant for empowering the young people through the Youth Livelihood Programme YLP have not been utilized. Courtesy Photo/Daily Monitor.

Sixty five districts across the country are yet to utilize the youth funds meant for empowering the young people through the Youth Livelihood Programme (YLP).

The disclosure was made this week by the officials from the Ministry of Gender during the fact finding mission on the performance of the programme in Karamoja Sub-Region.

Happy James Tumwebaze, the YLP programme manager in the ministry, says less than 20 billion shillings has been disbursed out of the 72 billion meant for the youths in all the districts for 2016/2017 financial year. He notes that the responsible offices from the districts have not requested for the money as is the procedure.

The Minister for Gender, Labour and Social Development, Janat Mukwaya, says the money must be spent before the end of the financial year on June 30, 2017. She notes that all the affected districts have been asked to generate groups and request for the said money before the end of May.

The political leadership of Moroto, one of the districts listed for failing to request for 728 million shillings is bitter with the technical staff. Andrew Napaja Keem, the district local council chairperson, ordered for immediate action.  “We cannot have all this money returned to the treasury when people on the ground are swimming in absolute poverty,” Napaja said. He asked the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) to have his team do the needful to enable the district use the money.

Margie Lolem, the acting district community development officer blamed her junior, Jennifer Longole who is in charge of the youth for failing to write a requisition to the CAO for the money. She assured the team that the money will be utilized before the end of the financial year.

YLP started in 2013 to help in empowering the youth and address issues of unemployment. However, a number of youth groups that have benefited from the funds have not been able to refund the money. It’s a revolving fund given to the youth in a groups of 10-15 members.