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3-Food: Uganda accepts milled GE food aid

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TITLE:  Government Seeks Shs 116bn for Northern Uganda
SOURCE: The Monitor, Uganda, by Richard M. Kavuma
DATE:   Jan 29, 2003

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Government Seeks Shs 116bn for Northern Uganda

Government has appealed to donors for emergency relief to avert a
humanitarian catastrophe in northern Uganda.

Second Deputy Prime Minister Moses Ali said Tuesday that 800,000 Ugandans
displaced by the war face starvation between now and June.

The food crisis in northern Uganda also has affected 150,000 refugees.

Ali also is minister for disaster preparedness and refugees.

Ali said the displaced people in the 125 camps cannot cultivate their
farms and desperately need blankets, tarpaulins, utensils, clothing and
other essentials.

"This has exposed them to the ravages of the weather leading to death
especially among infants and children," Ali said while launching the
relief appeal in the Prime Minister's office in Kampala yesterday.

Ali said the World Food Programme (WFP) needs $59m (Shs 108.28bn) to feed
the displaced people and $4.1m (Shs7.65bn) to buy non-food items.

He said Uganda could supply the required food items but that WFP needs
money to buy the food.

He said government had already given Shs 600m for the period January to
March. Another Shs 400m will be given in the next quarter to alleviate
the suffering of the people.

Meanwhile, World Food Programme Uganda Country Representative Ken Noah
Davies said yesterday that any genetically modified (GM) food that may be
imported to feed the starving north is safe.

Davies announced last week that the United States had donated 24,000
tonnes of cereal and 1,000 tonnes of cooking oil. He said the food should
reach Uganda by April. He could, however, not say whether the food was
genetically modified.

"WFP policy is based on the determination by WHO [World Health
Organisation] and FAO [Food and Agricultural Organisation] that GM
products now on the market are safe," Davies said.

Yesterday, Agriculture minister Kisamba Mugerwa said he has no objection
to the importation of GM food in flour form.

He said it was the National Council for Science and Technology
responsible for bio-safety regulations.