Response to COVID-19
As of 26 June 2020, Uganda has 821 cases confirmed, 731 people have recovered, and there have been no deaths.
Uganda has issued since March a number of measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 and mitigate related damage. This included, among others, banning public gatherings, meetings, and activities; curfews; confinements; closure of schools, etc. However, it is very challenging for the majority of Ugandans to comply to lockdown rules and practice social distancing, given that most have to work/find food on a daily basis, and live in overcrowded housing. These measures can have negative impacts on food security and physical and mental well-being.
In Uganda, external and domestic resources were rapidly mobilized to finance the response. For instance, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved today a disbursement of SDR361 million (about US$491.5 million or 100 percent of quota) for Uganda under the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) in May. Yet, out of a request of UGX 464 billion from the Ministry of Health, only UGX 104 billion was allocated to the health sector. This investment focused on strengthening the specialized end of care, rather than testing and tracing through the primary health care (PHC) system.
There are some concerns about the mismanagement of COVID-19 resources, given the prevalence of corruption in Uganda. In April, four top Ugandan government officials were arrested following reports they inflated COVID-19 relief food prices, causing governments’ losses of $528000.
- Published a press release calling for government to increase transparency and accountability in the procurement of essential commodities during the fight against COVID- 19.
- Articles and opinions written by TI-Uganda staff (also working in the project Open Contracting for Health) on prevailing corruption issues as a result of COVID-19 published in newspapers.
- Conducted an online dialogue on “Status of transparency and accountability on emergency response to COVID-19”
- Participated in radio and TV talk shows or interviews on “Issues of transparency and accountability amidst COVID 19.”
- Managing the TI-Uganda toll free anti-corruption hotline. These calls included complaints on the government response to COVID 19.