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Uganda: ICRC distributes seed to 58,000 returnees

15-02-2010 News Release 10/15

Kampala (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) today launched its last seed distribution in northern Uganda. Just ahead of the new planting season, over 58,000 formerly displaced people will be benefiting from the operation. Each family is to receive 28 kg of groundnut, cereal and vegetable seed, which is enough to plant approximately 1 hectare of land.

The recipients of the seed are farmers in the sub-counties of Orom, Omiya Anyima and Namokora in eastern Kitgum district, as they were the farmers most affected by the lack of rain during the first planting season in 2009.

" These farmers were displaced years ago by the fighting in Uganda. Since arriving back in their home areas they have been unable to build up reserves of food or seed, as they normally would have, to cope with last year's poor rainfall, " explains Janet Angelei, the ICRC economic security coordinator.

Since 2008, the ICRC has shifted its economic security programme from distributing relief assistance in camps for displaced people, towards supporting the re-establishment of livelihoods, as families have begun returning to their villages. The food security situation in the region has improved, as most of the displaced families have now been re-settled, giving them better access to arable land.

In 2009 alone, the ICRC supported about 110,000 returnees in the Amuru, Kitgum and Pader districts of northern Uganda, providing agricultural tools and seed to boost production.

The ICRC has been working in Uganda since 1979, protecting and assisting the victims of armed conflict and other situations of violence. As progress is made towards peace in the north of the country, and people return to their villages, the ICRC is gradually scaling down its activities in northern Uganda.

  For further information, please contact:
  Layla Berlemont, ICRC Kampala, tel: +256 41 341 605/6 or +256 772 221 994