According to a new analysis by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), children are set to bear the brunt of Uganda’s declining domestic revenue, which is compounded by the Covid-19-induced lockdown.
Despite President Museveni’s partial lifting of the lockdown on July 31, many other businesses remained closed, including schools, pubs, and entertainment venues. This has had a negative effect on the economy.
UNICEF forecasts a drop in value added tax, pay as you earn, trade, and corporate tax payments to the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) in fiscal year 2021/22 as a result of the ongoing economic disturbances.
According to data, Uganda’s overall revenue and grants in May were around Shs1.5 trillion, compared to a target of Shs1.68 trillion, owing primarily to tax collection underperformance.
According to UNICEF, URA may have lost at least Shs350-450 billion in tax revenue in July 2021, based on revenue performance during the first lockup in 2020.
According to UNICEF research, such revenue shortfalls frequently result in delays in disbursements to ministries and agencies, which disproportionately harm children.
The UNICEF report states, “Unfortunately, children are likely to suffer the most from late disbursements of money because this has an impact on the delivery of basic services such as health, social protection, water, and sanitation.”
According to the research, social safety solutions have not kept pace with rising levels of vulnerability and hardship among children due to funding shortfalls.
It’s worth noting that the government spent Shs60 billion in the previous fiscal year on food distribution to 683,000 homes in the Kampala Metropolitan Area, which accounted for 1.9 million people.
According to UNICEF, however, this figure is much lower than the total number of the poorest and most vulnerable people in the country.
UNICEF also points out that the government’s COVID-19 relief efforts have mostly targeted people in urban areas, leaving many people, especially children, in rural areas out.