Parliament on Tuesday passed a supplementary budget request of Shs 304bn which funds are meant to help in the fight against the spread and treatment of COVID-19.
The supplementary budget that was passed is meant to cater for the activities under the emergency response to COVID- 19 under the following agencies; Health (HQs, Referral Hospitals, District Hospitals, DMOs), Security (UPDF, Police, Prisons, ISO, ESO, immigration), Local Government (RDCs and Districts), KCCA, Disaster preparedness/ Support to the vulnerable.
The Health Sector had been allocated a total budget of Shs 82,562,065,127 required to support a number of interventions which include; Recruitment of 250 additional health care personnel, Transportation and Accommodation of Staff, Welfare requirements for health care staff and patients, Accommodation and welfare for patients under quarantine, Protective gear (PPE), Test Kits, Intensive Care Beds and Restoration of functionality of oxygen facilities at Mulago and other referral hospitals.
The committee however recommended for the enhancement of the health sector budget to Shs 104,188,234,110.
The committee as well recommended to have the budget for the security sector reduced to Shs 77, 497,505,890 from Shs 81.498 billion.
“The Committee was informed that the security Sector budget will cover the UPDF, Police, Prisons, ISO, ESO, Immigration, JAT, and CMI. These security agencies are expected to deploy a significant number of personnel who will be involved in surveillance, case detection, case management, and enforcement of control measures in the wider population,” noted the Committee Chairperson Amos Lugoloobi.
Parliament as well reduced the budget allocation of the Ministry of ICT from Shs 14.72 bn to Shs 6.0 billion and the balance was transferred to the Health Sector.
The Ministry of Finance indicated that the resources needed, being of an emergency nature, will come from the Euro 600 million loan recently approved by Parliament to provide budget support for FY 2019/20.
The budget was however passed without debate by the members of Parliament.