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Austrian Development Agency commits UGX 7 billion to prevent gender-based violence and harmful practices in Karamoja and Northern Uganda

KAMPALA, 13 December 2019: The Austrian Development Agency (ADA) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) have today signed a partnership agreement for a two-year (December 2019 – November 2021) programme to empower rights holders to advance an integrated package of rights through the transformation of social norms to prevent gender-based violence (GBV) and harmful practices that hinder access to sexual reproductive health in Karamoja region and Northern Uganda.

ADA has contributed Euros 1.8 million (approximately UGX 7 billion) to strengthen on-going interventions, specifically responding to high maternal mortality rate, high levels of teenage pregnancies, low use of contraceptives and weak response to gender-based violence.

 

“Interventions including support to the judiciary to implement mobile court sessions for GBV survivors; engagement of communities, religious, cultural, political leaders using multi-sectoral channels; as well as strengthened capacity of duty bearers to provide services, will increase coverage and access to sexual and reproductive health services,” said Mr. Alain Sibenaler, UNFPA Representative, commending ADA for this generosity. 

 

The programme will target hard-to-reach districts in Karamoja region, including Abim, Amudat, Moroto, Nakapiripirit, Kaabong and Napak; and three districts in Northern Uganda, including Omoro, Kitgum, and Otuke.  These districts show a sustained high fertility rate with low contraceptive use and high rates of teenage pregnancies.  In Karamoja region, the maternal mortality ratio stands at 700 deaths per 100,000 live births, in comparison to the national average of 336 deaths per 100,000 live births (UDHS 2016). Teenage pregnancy (girls age 15-19), a contributing factor to maternal mortality stands at 29.7% in Karamoja region in comparison to the national average that is still high at 25%.

 

“The Austrian Development Agency (ADA) hopes that through this intervention, capacity of duty bearers will be strengthened to ensure delivery of services and implementation of policy frameworks in the area of prevention of gender-based violence to improve delivery of sexual and reproductive health and services,” said Dr. Roswitha Kremser, Representative of the Austrian Development Agency to Uganda.

The programme targets to reach approximately 1.5 million people including GBV survivors, young people age 10-24, women of reproductive age 15-59, sexually active men and boys, with a special focus on GBV and sexual and reproductive health service providers.

 

The agreement was signed by Dr. Roswitha Kremser, Representative of the Austrian Development Agency to Uganda and Mr. Alain Sibenaler, UNFPA Uganda Representative.