Making the right investments based on robust evidence
Children and young people – who already make up more than half of Uganda’s fast-growing population – hold the potential to transform the country’s economy and fulfil its vision of becoming a middle income country by 2040.
However, more than half of Ugandan under-five-year-olds and more than a third of school-aged children are living in poverty. In some regions, such as West Nile and Karamoja, poverty affects 68 per cent of younger children.
Poverty, deprivation and exclusion in childhood severely damage Uganda’s capacity and ability to realize its Vision 2040.
But if the right investments, based on robust evidence, are made in children and young people now, Uganda can reap the full benefits of a much-anticipated demographic dividend.
The government is committed to strengthening service delivery in order to improve the lives of children and work towards the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals. Already, its per capita spend on health – one of the three sectors along with education and water that have the greatest impact on children’s development and well-being – is higher than its regional peers.
This has led to better access to essential services but has not greatly improved outcomes for children. Uganda continues to rank among the top 10 countries in the world for high maternal, newborn and child mortality rates. Malnutrition is widespread and two thirds of new HIV infections are contracted by adolescent girls. In education, a third of children drop out before completing primary school.
UNICEF is working closely with the Government to:
- Promote South-South cooperation and help establish an internal think tank. Information sharing and policy dialogue will be facilitated, and innovative and practical policy recommendations will be made to improve outcomes for children.
- Strengthen sub-regional level mapping of child poverty by rigorously assessing the quality of basic services available to poor children and women.
- Advocate with key decision-makers to put children at the centre of the national budget. This will be done by systematically monitoring budgetary allocations at national and sub-national levels to see whether they promote child rights.
- By 2020, Uganda will have equity-based data and analysis on children systematically integrated into national statistics and used in national and district planning. Citizens will be able to actively participate in planning processes at national and sub-national levels. In addition, there will be increased budgets for children across social sectors.
It is really quite simple: the greater the investment in Uganda’s poorest and most deprived children, wherever they are, the greater Uganda’s future growth and development will be
#InvestInUGchildren : Realize Uganda's Vision 2040