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During her working visit to Uganda, Caroline Gennez, Minister of Development Cooperation, evaluated the results of the Belgian international cooperation programme in Uganda. This with a view to a future programme that would specifically focus on access to education and health care, social protection, climate change, human rights and democracy.
Minister for Development Cooperation, Caroline Gennez, is on a working visit to Uganda, her first working visit to a partner country of Belgian development cooperation. The minister will evaluate during her one week stay the results of Belgian development cooperation. In particular the real impact on the lives of the populations in terms of access to education, healthcare, their hosting of refugees, sustainable agriculture, climate resilience and the protection of human rights. She has dialogued with local and national authorities, beneficiaries, Belgian non-governmental actors, international partners and implementing agency Enabel to identify issues of concern towards a future cooperation programme (2023-2028).
A new programme would rest on three pillars: access to health and education (with a particular focus on girls and women) as the basis of social protection, climate change and its impact on agriculture and communities and, finally, human rights and democracy. Belgian development cooperation, as always, follows the Agenda2030 including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their underlying principle of inclusiveness - under the motto "leaving no one behind". Uganda has also endorsed the Agenda2030. Enabel, which implements bilateral Belgian international cooperation on the ground, works with a results-based financing: projects must meet pre-agreed criteria in order to obtain anticipated funding in full or in part.
Minister Gennez will conclude her working visit to Uganda on Friday 17 March with a round table on human rights. Timely, for a controversial bill seeking to criminalise LGTBQI+ will be introduced in the Ugandan Parliament. A similar bill was already voted on in 2014 but subsequently suspended by the Constitutional Court. That such a bill is being tabled again is obviously worrying. Minister Gennez already confirms that Belgian development cooperation and foreign policy will not tolerate any restrictions on inclusiveness or human rights.
Minister Gennez: “Our investments for better education and health care will only pay off if the rule of law, human rights and democracy are also supported. That is why, in addition to the visits to our social and sustainable projects in schools and hospitals, we also addressed the government of Uganda about women’s rights and protecting the LGBTQIA+ community. There can be no discrimination in our development cooperation – we leave no one behind.”
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