April 11, 2011
In the beginning of April a coalition of Ugandan civil society organizations under the umbrella name ‘Voices for Health Rights’ issued a statement condemning government expenditure on military hardware when the health sector in the country is still underfunded.
Recently, the Ugandan media reported that the government took $740 million from the Bank of Uganda to buy fighter jets and other military equipment, without the mandatory parliamentary approval. Voices for Health Rights condemns “in the strongest terms possible the illegal transactions by the Government of Uganda involving taxpayers’ money and amounting to violations of the rights of the people of Uganda.” The money was reportedly withdrawn during the recent elections. “This alarming revelation of the illegal transaction has been made in the midst of the FY 2011-2012 budget development process where the health sector — along with other sectors — has been told that it will not have increases due to ‘scarce resources’.” The draft health sector budget framework paper indicates that the health budget will remain stagnant at 660 billion in 2011/2012 and that the percentage of the budget allocation to health has been reduced from 8.7% to 8.2%.