Archived page: may contain outdated information!

Uganda: ICRC distributes seed to 73,000 returnees in Acholiland

11-08-2009 News Release 09/155

Kampala (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has launched a seed distribution campaign to help almost 73,000 formerly displaced people (IDPs) in northern Uganda ahead of the new planting season.

The families in the Amuru district and eastern parts of Kitgum will each receive 4 kg of improved sorghum seed, which should be enough to plant one acre of land.

" These farmers lost over 60% of their crops because of poor rainfall. As a result, most of them do not have enough food and are also experiencing difficulty obtaining seed for the second season, which starts in August, " explained Janet Angelei, an ICRC economic security coordinator. " This seed variety is fast maturing and also drought resistant.''

The people receiving the seed – over 1,600 families in Amuru and almost 11,600 families in eastern Kitgum – expect to harvest up to 800 kg if conditions are favourable during the growing season. They were displaced years ago by the fighting in Uganda, and since arriving back in their home areas they have not been able to build up reserves of food or seed, as they normally would have, to cope with this year's poor rainfall.

The ICRC will continue to help the communities in the affected areas to open up more agricultural land and community access routes through an ongoing cash-for-work programme. Things have been looking up in the area in recent months thanks to the secure environment and the improving humanitarian situation. But farmers still need safety nets, such as livestock holdings, and access to basic services.

The ICRC has been working in Uganda since 1979. Given the progress towards peace in the north of the country, the ICRC is shifting the focus of its assistance activities from providing emergency aid to helping people to rebuild their livelihood.

  For further information, please contact:
  Walter Akwat, ICRC Kampala, tel: +256 41 341 605/6
  Anna Schaaf, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 2271 or +41 79 217 3217