Uganda: 80% of Ugandans Vulnerable, Marginalised, Says EOC Report

The Speaker of Parliament, Mr Jacob Oulanyah, has directed ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs) to commit extra resources in improving the lives of the vulnerable and marginalised people in the country.

His remarks came after a 2020/2021 report from the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) yesterday indicated that 80 per cent of the country’s population is marginalised and vulnerable.

While presenting the report on the state of equal opportunities in the country to Parliament yesterday, Ms Safia Nalule Juuko, the EOC boss, said elimination of all forms of discrimination and inequalities is critical to addressing the country’s development concerns.

Breaking down the 80 per cent, Ms Nalule said vulnerable people include women (52 per cent), youth (38 per cent), orphans and other vulnerable children (55 per cent), older persons (4 per cent), ethnic minorities (1 per cent), persons with disabilities (12 per cent), the rural and urban poor (21.4 per cent) and persons living with HIV/Aids, among others.

“These people continue to face a wide range of challenges, including discrimination, marginalisation, low social status, lack of economic self-sufficiency and high illiteracy levels,” Ms Nalule said.

In response, Mr Oulanyah asked government agencies to invest in vulnerable people. “We must use this moment to deliberately invest in those areas that present vulnerability so that vulnerable persons can take their right places in the development of the country,” he said.

“If you over emphasise social protection without investing in the vulnerable, then you are only spending without earning. But the minute you empower them, it then empowers the value of the vulnerable,” he added.

The findings were published under the theme;”Promoting equal opportunities and equitable access to social services for inclusive growth and sustainable development.” The data was gathered from 75 districts across the country.

Areas researched about included the degree of ease and or difficulty with which marginalised persons access health services, energy, education, among others. The report found that the majority of marginalised people struggle to access health services.

“It was found that most (44.8per cent) of the respondents took between one and two hours to reach a health facility. It was also noted that more females (2.1per cent) than males (1.4 per cent) took more than four hours to reach a health facility,” Ms Nalule said.

“On the other hand, 46.9 per cent of persons with disabilities and the ethnic minority groups took one to two hours to reach a health facility, followed by 34.8 per cent who took three to four hours and 1.6 per cent that took more than four hours because of the long-distance, nature of the road terrain, coupled with limited mobility,” she added.

Ms Nalule urged government to provide more funds to the marginalised.

“The government should set aside funds to assist persons with disabilities to bring cases to court, and special committees should be set up to investigate any allegations of discrimination in employment on the grounds of disability,” Ms Nalule said.

According to Ms Nalule, EOC assessed 152 ,ministerial policy statements (95.597per cent) against the expected 159 Vote names. Of the assessed votes, 146 passed the assessment (96.05per cent).


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Author : Monitor

Publish date : 2021-10-01 05:39:40

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