Government releases funds for first quart of the 2021/22 financial year focusing on Health sector
5.673 Trillion Shillings has been released by for the first quarter of the financial year 2021/22, with focus on the health sector and the fight against Covid- 19.
The funds represent 25% of the approved government budget minus external financing, appropriation in aid and public debt.
According to Patrick Ocailap, the Acting Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, the funds released is less by 2 Trillion Shillings, compared to what had been budgeted, because of the drop in revenues.
Uganda’s economy was badly hit by the first lockdown early to mid-2020, but a second deadly wave of the pandemic has forced government to institute a new lockdown for an initial 42 days to contain the spread.
Ocailap argues that this is expected to hit the recovery of the economy hard.
Now, as a consequence of projected shortfall in revenue of 2 Trillion Shillings and the need to respond to the COVID-19 emergency through a supplementary of 600 Billion Shillings, budgets of MDA’s have been suppressed by up to 41.2%.
The PS added that the strength of the economy now lies in the hope that the agriculture sector will not be hit by harsh weather, and hopes that the situation will improve.
The areas prioritized under the release for the first quarter include funding for requirements for managing the COVID-19 pandemic under the health sector, support to the vulnerable population and others sectors.
Others are security, agriculture institutions to cater for the planting season and funding to cater for a certificate for ongoing contracts for key projects under roads, water and energy.
Under the health sector, the ministry has prioritized a supplementary of 206 Billion Shillings to cater for the provision of oxygen, logistics, hospital beds, Intensive Care Units and high dependency units for national and regional referral hospitals.
According to the ministry, another 218.1 Billion Shillings has been released to the National Medical Stores for the purchase of covid 19 vaccines and other essential medicines and drugs for other diseases.
Meanwhile, Mulago National Referral Hospital and the other Referral hospitals have received 19 Billion and 67 Billion Shillings respectively. The relief funding to vulnerable groups has also been catered for under the supplementary with 53.5 Billion Shillings while about the same amount goes to the local governments and village health teams (VHTs).