Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja has said that government will give out cash tokens to people who have been most affected by the COVID-19 induced lockdown.
While announcing the government’s COVID-19 relief plan at the Office of the Prime Minister on Sunday, Nabbanja said this time government will not give out food packages.
“After the COVID-19 Taskforce meeting, we have agreed and decided that any support that will be provided to the persons most affected by the lockdown measures will be through cash tokens and not physical food distribution,” Nabbanja said.
During the first lockdown in April last year, the government distributed food to vulnerable groups of up to 1.5 million people in areas of Kampala and Wakiso.
The exercise was however termed as ‘slow and inconsistent.’
Official figures from the Office of the Prime Minister show that at least 855,281 residents in Kampala who desperately need food were served, but Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago said that this was not true.
Ugandans on social media have now urged the newly vetted prime minister Nabbanja to make sure that this time, the process is as transparent as it possibly could.
The Center for Law and Emerging Economies said in a tweet that distributing relief via mobile money would be efficient if done fairly.
“Cash relief distribution via Mobile Money would be efficient, cost and time saving but has 2 drawbacks: 1. Assumes fairness and transparency in selection criteria of beneficiaries; 2. Assumes all beneficiaries have both MM registered line and NIN. These are big assumptions.”
Cash relief distribution via Mobile Money would be efficient, cost and time saving but has 2 drawbacks: 1. Assumes fairness and transparency in selection criteria of beneficiaries; 2. Assumes all beneficiaries have both MM registered line and NIN. These are big assumptions. https://t.co/zoh3nbAG3e
— Center for Law and Emerging Technologies (@clet_ug) June 20, 2021
Nabbanja in her speech said that the vulnerable groups will be identified and helped.
Ugandans are currently counting day 2 of the 42 days lockdown announced by President Museveni on Friday.
The lockdown saw the president place a ban on all nonessential services, a directive that has since affected many people’s sources of livelihood.
Economic experts say that many people in the country have been living hand to mouth and a good number were still recovering from the first lockdown.