The Pandemic’s Impact on Uganda

NOTE: The situation in Uganda continues evolving. This information was updated August 10, 2020. New info is in bold. This page will be updated as new information becomes available.

Uganda continues dealing with economic and social hardships caused by the coronavirus. Below is an up-to-date overview of what’s happening 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, including marketplace closures and travel bans. 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 in the coming weeks or months, 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.

Impacts

As of August 10, 2020, there have been six deaths in Uganda from Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Despite the low number, life in Uganda has become 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.”
  • Public transportation, including the ubiquitous 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 and the health care system were woefully inadequate to address even basic needs. So social distancing and hygienic practices are lifesaving actions.

Our 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:

  • Donations of more than $20,000 USD were made in the month of July to our Lift&RaiseHER campaign, enabling us to issue new micro loans so our borrowers can begin rebuilding their businesses.
  • After an emergency appeal by The Greater Contribution in May, 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).
  • Even though there have been six Covid-related deaths in Uganda, it doesn’t mean there the threat is small. We are encouraging our borrowers 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.