On Wednesday, August 31, the USAID-funded Feed the Future Uganda Inclusive Agricultural Markets (FtF IAM) Activity hosted a high-level dialogue on food security in Abim District as part of the Activity’s contribution to the Karamoja Cultural Festival. The event convened the Karamoja Government officials and institutions (District Local Government officials, National Agricultural Research Organization), development partners including World Food Programme (WFP) and other USAID-funded activities in the region, and the private sector aiming to strengthen linkages, collaboration, and coordination among stakeholders. This would in turn enhance access, availability, utilization, and stability of food in the Karamoja subregion.
Situated in the Northeastern part of Uganda, the Karamoja subregion lies in one of Uganda’s dry belts and is often characterized by prolonged droughts, crop failures, and livestock deaths resulting in food insecurity. Some of the most recent updates from the sub-region indicate that there have been 2,465 fatalities in 2022 caused by the food insecurity crisis in Karamoja. The crisis is attributed to the increase of prices and lack of food availability, the intensity of climate shocks, the indirect effects of preventive measures to minimize COVID-19 spread, the burden of malnutrition, and the increase of insecurity and its associated risks.
During the food security dialogue, participants collectively committed to improving coordination, collaboration, and joint planning of agricultural interventions within the Karamoja sub-region. Participants also identified the need for mindset change from humanitarian to market-driven agricultural approaches and pledged to take on an inclusive agricultural approach with gender-strategic interventions. During the Cultural Festival ceremonies, the key stakeholders in the Karamoja subregion will be signing a commitment declaration to document and concretize these commitments as long-term action points towards improving food security in the Karamoja subregion.
ABOUT THE KARAMOJA CULTURAL Festival
The 2022 Karamoja Cultural Festival runs from August 30 to September 3, in the Abim district under the theme, “Security in Karamoja; The role of Culture and Tradition Mechanism in Steering a Peaceful Karamoja.” The event is an annual cultural festival celebrated by different Karimojong and all members of ateker cluster of Kenya, Ethiopia, South Sudan, and Uganda in different places in Karamoja. The event involves ceremonies, dialogues, dances, and other cultural activities and rituals.