By Stephen Kalema

Ambassador Pacifici greets Alur King, Philip Olarker in Zombo District on October 31, 2018. Left is Minister of State for Northern Uganda Grace Kwiyucwiny.

State Minister for Northern Uganda,Grace Kwiyucwiny, has called on northern region leaders to embrace Development Initiative for Northern Uganda (DINU) programme.

In a move to ensure that Northern Uganda is developing at the same level with other parts of Uganda, government of Uganda together with different development partners and European Union (EU) came up with new programme; Development Initiative for Northern Uganda (DINU) aimed at improving livelihoods of people in the five sub-regions of Acholi, Karamoja, Lango, Teso, and West Nile comprising of 33 districts. However few leaders in these sub-regions have embraced this programme.

In the meeting held at Zombo District headquarters this week aimed at finding out ways of implementing DINU programme in all the regions, minister Kwiyucwiny called up district leaders from West Nile Sub-region and other sub-regions to support the programme.

Minister of State for Northern Uganda Grace Kwiyucwiny.

“I call upon all stakeholders to fully support the DINU programme by working together and fully participating in timely implementation of activities and actions so that we all deliver this large and integrated programme effectively,” said Kwiyucwi.

The programme is set to run for five years and government is to actively engage with all the funders and partners to ensure that it delivers expected results and outcomes for the benefit of people of Northern Uganda.

The minoster however, encouraged them to play their roles wholeheartedly

“I once again call upon all key stakeholders to actively play their roles in ensuring that the programme is implemented and managed collectively in order to produce a positive impact on the beneficiaries,” said minister who later on cautioned all stakeholders to be transparent and avoid corruption which can sabotage the programme

“EU-OPM has zero tolerance to corruption and the DINU implementation should be done with highest expected standards” minister cautions.

The Head of the European Union Delegation to Uganda, Ambassador Attilio Pacifici, said DINU is a mark of a long standing partnership and commitment of the EU to continueworking closely with the people of Uganda and in particular the people of Northern Uganda.

 He cited a challenge of refugees coming in Uganda and insecurity threats in Karamoja.

“New challenges have emerged while in other areas not all the old challenges have been fully overcome. For instance, the huge influx of South-Sudanese refugees is a new prominent challenge in the North-West while in Karamoja some security challenges and threats still keep coming from across the borders, not mentioning other challenges in particular linked to climate change,” said Amb. Pacifici.

Amb. Pacifici also called upon stake holders to get fully involved since the region is still raging behind in development.

“The region still lags behind compared to other parts of Uganda further efforts are therefore required to narrow this gap and to respond to the specific challenges faced by the people of Northern Uganda. This is why the EU, through DINU as well as other programmes, continues to invest in Northern Uganda. We are committed to support the people, the government of Uganda at central and local levels and other stakeholders to ensure long lasting peace, security and stability and the development of the region,” he explained.

DINU is a multi-sectoral integrated programme supporting interventions in three interlinked sectors; Market oriented agriculture (food security and nutrition, livelihoods), Infrastructures (transport, logistics, water, energy) and Good governance for improved service delivery.

 This programme was initiated in 2017 with funds in form of grants 132.8 million Euros from the European Union, 11.9 million Euros from the Government of Uganda and 5.9 million Euros from implementing partners;Department for International.

Development (DFID)/Trademark East Africa, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ),United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

The programme is to benefit 33 districts and these include; Agago, Amuru, Gulu, Kitgum, Lamwo, Nwoya, Omoro and Pader in Acholi region; Abim, Amudat, Kaabong, Kotido, Moroto, Nakapiripirit and Napak in Karamoja region; Alebtong, Amolatar, Apac, Dokolo, Kole, Lira, Otuke and Oyam in Lango region; Amuria and Katakwi in Teso region and   Adjumani, Arua, Koboko, Maracha, Moyo, Nebbi, Yumbe and Zombo in West Nile region.