Dr. Simon Blankley, VSO, working in Uganda

This short video, 3:15, by Schuman Hoque highlights some of the work done by Dr. Simon Blankley whilst he was here with International Medical Foundation in Uganda. Simon came as a VSO and helped to develop the TB programme at IMF, in collaboration with our funding partners Target TB, based in the UK.

The relationship with Target TB will enter a new phase later this year when we complete the final application phase for renewed funding by DfID, which will extend Touch Namuwongo, our HIV/TB programme in the Makindye division of Kampala.

TB kills 3,800 people every day,
more than Malaria and AIDS.

The video shows the teams working at International Hospital Kampala and in the community outreaches both in Kampala and in Lira, N. Uganda.

You can view this video on its original website in HD and higher quality here.

You can read more about our award winning TB prorgamme here.

UK Aid as a share of National Income

In the last few weeks there’s been a lot of discussion about UK overseas aid. (on Twitter #AidReview)

DFID has just completed a thorough review of all the programmes that it supports and has announced some changes planned for the next few years.

Essentially the UK Government is committed to sharing up to 0.7% of our national income to deliver results such as:

  • secure schooling for 11 million children – more than we educate in the UK but at 2.5% of the cost
  • vaccinate more children against preventable diseases than there are people in the whole of England
  • provide access to safe drinking water and improved sanitation to more people than there are in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
  • save the lives of 50,000 women in pregnancy and childbirth
  • stop 250,000 new-born babies dying needlessly
  • support 13 countries to hold freer and fairer elections
  • help 10 million more women get access to modern family planning.

Getting to 0.7% will mean an increase of some 50% in cash terms over the next 4 years.

I first came across this chart on Owen Barder’s Blog:

In his announcements last week Andrew Mitchell noted that UK Aid to Uganda will increase from £68m pa to £98m and will be focussed on these top priorities:

  1. Improving the quality of essential services, especially for the most vulnerable
  2. Supporting the recovery in northern Uganda
  3. Improving maternal and reproductive health
  4. Driving growth through training, job creation, financial services and trade
  5. Improving government accountability and transparency so that future oil revenues are spent effectively.

I am hoping that our projects in Lira and in the Makindye Division of Kampala might benefit from some of this funding, as we seem to be closely aligned on the first 3 in particular.

40 Years of Aid into Karamoja

League of recipients of aid from Britain... Uganda is 13th  receiving £70m pa.I heard yesterday on the BBC that aid has been coming into Karamoja, N.E. Uganda, for more than 40 years but still we see pictures of mothers using bedding to cook a meal for their hungry children.

BBC News: “British aid faces ‘enemy of corruption’ “

How can this be?

DFID gives more than £5b in aid each year to developing countries. Uganda receives £70m, which places it 13th in the league of recipients.

Most of this is given as budget support to the Uganda government rather than direct to programmes. There has been significant concern about the leakage of these funds due to corruption and some claim that more than half of that given never reach the intended recipients.

We have to do better than this.

£70m is a lot of money but in reality it is nowhere near enough to make a significant impact. Recent estimates show that Uganda needs almost £250m pa just to meet the cost of treatment for those living with HIV. Of course DFID is just one source of funds, others such as The Global Fund and PEPFAR contribute even more.

We need to deal with corruption, stopping it, improving transparency and accountability; choose more carefully the programmes that will receive aid; manage those programmes much better and ensure the delivery of results that will sustain change and development for generations to come.

British aid faces ‘enemy of corruption’