Alebtong district failed to recover Shs. 840m from youth projects

ALBETONG – Alebtong district has failed to recover Shs 840m which the government released to support various youth projects in the district.

The money was disbursed to supplement Youth Livelihood Program (YLP) and Youth Venture Fund (YVF) in three financial years (2014/2015, 2017/2018, 2019/2020) according to the district LC5 boss, David Kennedy Odongo.

He said the district received Shs1.4b in these financial years to support the projects but since then they have recovered only Shs153m.

“The financial support was given to youth groups and they were supposed to get, use it and repay but a number have failed to repay,” Odongo said.

His comment followed the recent concern raised by the District Youth Chairperson, Robert Ocen during the youth day celebration. He further said, government was at the stage of scrapping the Youth Livelihood Program and redirecting the funds to the Parish Development Program.

“The youth are leaving in fear that Youth Livelihood Program which was the only program to facilitate youth activities will soon be no more,” Ocen was quoted as saying during the celebration held at Alebtong primary school.

Odongo said with the figure of Shs 840 unrecovered, it means a lot of money is still with the youth though they are crying for government support, marginalization and scrapping of youth development projects.

He also said, the government has already invested a lot on youth and their budget for this financial year 2021/2022 to the tune of Shs29b and allocated Shs14b for education.

“When you talk about education, it means you are talking about the youth who are going to be future leaders,” he added.

“The government injected Shs 2b for the construction of Abia Seeds Secondary School, Shs1.8b for Awei and Shs800m for Angetta Secondary School,” said Odongo.

He advised young people to embrace government programs such as Emyooga and Parish Development Program which are due to be kicked off.

“Work on your mindset and avoid the blame game if you want to progress,” he added.

He said under the Emyooga program, the district has received Shs 1.1b and what has already been disbursed is Shs 370m.

Ocen requested the government to extend the repayment period of Emyooga to one year and relax other conditions required to access the money.

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COP26: UNEP calls for more efforts on climate finance and adaptation plans

GLASGOW – Finance for climate change adaptation as well as implementation plans are still very low, despite increasing policies and planning for climate change mitigation, a new report published by United Nations Environment Program, UNEP, has said.

The Adaption Gap Report, 2021: The Gathering Storm, says although the world is focused on stepping up efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions, there is a need to “dramatically up our game to adapt,” as climate impacts continue to outpace attempts to adapt to them,” said Inger Andersen, the Executive Director of UNEP.

The report was launched on Thursday as world leaders continued to hold discussions at Glasgow in the 26th UN conference on climate change, to jointly attempt to limit global warming, in fulfillment of the 2015 Paris Agreement.

In 2001, the Adaptation Fund was created under the Kyoto Protocol to finance real adaptation projects in developing countries that are most vulnerable to the harsh effects of climate change.

Adaptation and climate finance are the first two goals of the COP26, aiming at urging countries affected by climate change to “protect and restore their ecosystems and build defenses, warning and resilient infrastructure and agriculture to avoid loss of homes, livelihoods and even lives,” through various programs.

However, Anderson said, adaptation financing is still a huge concern because the gap between what we need to spend to adapt and what we are spending is widening, and could reach $ 280-500 billion each year by 2050 for poor countries alone.

The report adds that although international public adaptation finance has risen by 50% between 2017-2020, it is still low.

The report recognizes that climate change adaptation is increasingly being embedded in policy and planning worldwide by countries. At least 79% of all countries are said to be using at least one national-level adaptation planning instrument, showing a 7% rise since 2020.

Andersen said, all these efforts are not yet enough, even if the tap on greenhouse gas emissions were to be turned off today.

“We need to scale up further and increase public adaptation finance including but not limited to overcoming barriers for private sector engagement, as implantation at current rates may not keep pace with increasing levels of climate change.”

“This UNEP report clearly shows that we need to change our adaptation ambition for funding and implementation, to significantly reduce damages and losses from climate change. And we need it now,” she said.

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