Casals & Associates OTI Project in Northern Uganda Honors Internally Displaced Persons Camp Leaders
After years of conflict, some 900,000 displaced Ugandans have returned to their homes in recent months. Many have been helped by a $37.2 million program Casals & Associates is managing aimed at improving the functioning of local government offices, health, and education.
The program, the Northern Uganda Transition Initiative (NUTI), is a partnership with the Government of Uganda (GoU) funded through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI). Launched in May 2008, NUTI has helped displaced people return through the funding of small-scale projects, such as schools, health centers, and government offices.
At its offices in the northern city of Gulu, Casals recently supported a formal handover ceremony marking the end of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps. Casals and the GoU jointly honored some 260 IDP camp leaders at the ceremony. Each leader was awarded a goat—a prized source of sustenance and income in northern Uganda.
“By supporting these handover ceremonies, Casals is assisting the GoU to mark a critical point in northern Uganda’s transition from war to peace,” said Amanda Willett, Casals chief of party in Uganda. “Restoration of the local council system will enable villages throughout the region to begin planning and attracting government and donor resources to support their recovery.”
The two-decade conflict between the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and the Ugandan government killed tens of thousands and displaced nearly 2 million Ugandans. The conflict left local governments devastated, and nongovernmental organizations provided the majority of goods and services to people.
A large part of NUTI’s activities focus on restoring Ugandans’ confidence in local governments’ ability to deliver services. Restoring their confidence is critical to convincing displaced northern Ugandans to voluntarily return. It is also helping lay the groundwork for post-conflict development.
Director of Corporate Communications