The Pandemic’s Impact on Uganda
NOTE: The situation in Uganda continues evolving. This information was updated May 21, 2020. New info is in bold. This page will be updated as new information becomes available.
Uganda is not immune from the economic and social hardships hitting the globe today. Below is an up-to-date overview of what we’re seeing in Uganda, and how the situation is pushing many families even closer than before to the economic brink.
This site will be updated regularly as the situation evolves, so please check back again.
The Ugandan government has imposed several restrictions to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. These are wise moves, considering the country’s still-developing health care system and a population that is vulnerable to health challenges due to chronic malnourishment.
While these restrictions may be partially eased as early as the first week of June 2020, the unpredictable nature of the coronavirus makes it difficult to know when life will begin returning to normal. Through it all, though, The Greater Contribution remains active and committed to helping ensure better, more fulfilling lives for Uganda’s families.
Thankfully, to date there have been no deaths from covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. But life in Uganda just became harder.
- Public marketplaces have been shuttered, meaning two things: 1) families have nowhere to buy food and other essentials, and 2) many of our borrowers are not earning a living and are finding it difficult to support their families. In the words of one of our Ugandan staffers, “No business means limited livelihood.”
- Non-food items have been banned from the markets, meaning many entrepreneurs selling clothing and other non-food essentials are not earning a living and are finding it difficult to support their families.
- Public transportation, including the ubiquitous boda boda vehicles, has been banned, making the movement of goods and people extremely difficult between villages and within cities.
- Schools are closed, meaning youngsters are staying home, where they need love, attention – and food – from families that suddenly have less money than before.
- Our peer counselors are reporting a greater frequency of domestic violence and mental health challenges.
- Even before this crisis, hospitals were woefully inadequate to address even basic needs. So social distancing and hygienic practices are lifesaving actions.
The Greater Contribution is acutely aware of the new challenges, and both its Ugandan and U.S.-based staff are taking several actions and precautions to help families weather this crisis and ensure our efforts to empower women and lift families out of poverty continue uninterrupted:
- After a recent emergency appeal by The Greater Contribution, we provided more than $5,000 USD so our Ugandan staff can deliver basic foodstuffs and emergency supplies to 800+ of our borrowers in remote villages (with a government permit).
- Because many of our borrowers have no income at this time, we are encouraging them to stay home and practice social distancing to help prevent the virus’ transmission.
- Our staff has organized informational sessions with medical professionals so our peer counselors can educate residents of remote villages about the virus and its transmission.
- Our Ugandan staffers are working from home. And our U.S.-based staff, board of directors and volunteers continue performing their same essential functions while using the power of technology to overcome the loss of our usual personal interactions and gatherings.
- With the unfortunate practice of price gouging pushing the cost of hand sanitizer outside many families’ ability to pay for it, our staff and partners are driving as many five hours to purchase the ingredients to manufacture and distribute their own safe, effective sanitizer.
Thank You for Your Concern
Our efforts in Uganda are more important than ever before, and The Greater Contribution remains dedicated to providing uninterrupted assistance to disadvantaged women and families, and your gifts help us continue fulfilling our mission. To assist us in this time of crisis, please visit our donation page.
We undertake our mission with love and an even greater appreciation for your partnership. Be safe and stay well.