COVID-19 Relief Fund: Who, when, and how to receive it?

Last week, we broke the story of Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja’s announcement that Ugandans would receive a Covid-19 relief fund through mobile money. The money directed at the most vulnerable people has caused excitement and unseen-before anxiety among citizens with so many questions on who is to receive the amount, when it shall come, and how it shall be received.

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As much as the 42-day lockdown is moving on, the biggest question has been on when the government will come out with an official statement on the issue, given the so many misconceptions surrounding it. Well, the day has come, and the communication has been passed on.

In a press briefing at the Media Centre in Kampala, the Minister for Gender, Labour, and Social Development, Betty Amongi has made it clear that the government has already identified groups of people to benefit from the relief fund. This is after a sum of over UGX 50 billion has been secured to the effect.

So, let’s get into the questions answered so far!

How much COVID-19 relief is to be issued out?

There have been numerous misconceptions on the exact amount to be received from the Prime Minister’s office. Comments regarding the mobile money amount cap that a person should have received on their mobile before consideration were the biggest cause of this. However, according to the government, the minimum that can be spent on basic needs in a household is UGX 100,000.

This is to cater for the purchase of 20kg of posho at UGX 40,000, 10kg of beans for UGX 25000, a bar of soap at UGX 3000, a three-liter -jerrican of cooking oil for UGX 12,000 and the remaining UGX 20,000 to be used for other items at home.

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For those that are worried that the amount could be less as a result of withdrawal fees and taxes involved, it is all going to be catered for. So, in simpler terms, expect about UGX 103,000 on your mobile – if at all you are among the expected recepients. That brings us to the next question.

Who is eligible to receive this COVID-19 relief fund?

For starters, it is the vulnerable people receiving this amount. There is no doubt about this. But you may ask, who is included in this list? The government notes that the categories of vulnerable persons considered are those who depend on daily earning and those whose lives will be severely affected as a result of the current lockdown.

In total, the fund is meant to reach 501,107 households in Kampala Metropolitan Area, all cities and municipalities. Kampala Metropolitan Area covers Kampala, parts of Wakiso, Mukono and Mpigi districts. The KCCA Executive Director, town clerks, city clerks and municipal trucks will be responsible for providing the data on the vulnerable people and ensuring that this is accurate.

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The classification of vulnerable persons by the Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development

The chosen recipients include;

1.Bus/Taxi drivers. Conductors
2.Baggage carriers, wheelbarrow pushers, touts, traffic guides and loaders in taxi, and bus parks, stages and other areas like Kikuubo
3.Barmen, DJs, barmaids, waiters, waitresses and Bouncers
4.Bar, gym and restaurant workers
5.Food vendors in bus, taxi parks and arcades
6.Artists (musicians, comedians, producers, promoters)
7.Boda Boda riders, special hire drivers, and uber drivers
8.Saloons, massage and parlor workers
9.Teachers and support staff in private schools and teachers in government schools not on government payroll
10.Car washers
11.Slum dwellers/Ghetto residents
12.Street vendors, shoe shiners and cobblers
13.Orphans and vulnerable children.

The minister says that those without phones and those whose National Identification Numbers (NINs) don’t correspond with the mobile money account details shall access funds through Post Bank vans.

When is the COVID-19 relief fund coming?

We don’t know yet! However, we shall let you know once the government issues a clearer answer on this.

For more information on the COVID-19 relief fund, go to:

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