SOME 17 community organisations helping orphans and vulnerable children have received sh3.3b in grants from the Uganda AIDS Commission Civil Society Fund. Each of the organisations from different districts received about sh200m.

The money was handed over to representatives of the organisations at the Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala on Friday.

The recipients were the Agency for Cooperation and Research in Development –Uganda, the Traditional and Modern Health Practitioners together Against AIDS and other Diseases and the Sebei Diocese’s Community Development and Empowerment.

The others were the Multi-Community Based Development Initiative Ltd, War Child UK, Uganda Reproductive Health Bureau, the World Education/Bantwana Initiative and the Community Awareness and Response on AIDS.

The Uganda Health Marketing Group, the Church of Uganda Health Department, the Pentecostal Assemblies of God, the CEPAP and the Reach the Children Uganda also received money.

Concern for the Girl Child, CARITAS, the Katalemwa Chesire Home for Rehabilitation Services and the Community Empowerment for Rural Development, are the other organisations that benefited from the fund.

Speaking at the ceremony, the commissioner for disability and the elderly, Herbert Baryayebwa, said orphans and vulnerable children are increasing in Uganda. Over 7.5 million children are orphaned in Uganda, he said, one million of them by AIDS.

Baryayebwa, who is the acting director of social protection in the gender ministry, said more than two million of the children have lost both parents.
He urged the Government to develop a plan of intervention to vulnerable children but the trend of HIV/AIDS was changing it.

The Commissioner said that by 2003, about 2.7million children were estimated to be working informal sectors, excluding agriculture. About 1.5million of them were aged between 10 and 14.
The chief of party Financial Monitoring Agency, Robert Waweru said donors had provided over sh74b to the anti-AIDS cause.

The donors include the US Agency for International Development, UK Department for International Development, Danish International Development Agency, Irish Aid and Italian Cooperation.

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