The Norwegian Deputy Minister of International Development, Ms. Bjørg Sandkjær, has called for integration of peace and security in Climate Smart and sustainable energy to find sustainable solutions which address the needs of women facing energy crises. Ms. Bjørg Sandkjær made the remarks during a field mission to UN Women supported programs in Adjumani district, Uganda. The Royal Norwegian Embassy supports two UN Women flagship programs in Uganda – Women Peace and Security (WPS) and the Leadership, Empowerment Access and Protection (LEAP) since 2018 and 2017 respectively. The interventions have been implemented in the refugee hosting districts of Yumbe and Adjumani and in Kotido.
The four components of the Norwegian government’s current program support in Uganda include: strengthening GEWE and Sexual Reproductive Health Rights, Ending Violence Against Women (EVAW), Women Economic Empowerment, Women Peace and Security, and Women political participation; Climate-smart Agriculture with particular focus on working with smallholder farmers for food security and incomes; integrated efforts on Humanitarian and Development nexus on women empowerment and Gender Equality; and sustainable energy that addresses the energy needs of women.
In the next 4 four years (2021 – 2025) the Norwegian Embassy has committed 5,764,381USD towards LEAP programming targeting four refugee hosting districts of Adjumani, Yumbe, Terego and Kyegegwa and pledged USD 4,604,148 to support implementation of Uganda’s third National Action Plan on Women Peace and Security (NAP III WPS 2021 – 2025).
UN Women Country Representative a.i. Ms. Adekemi Ndieli commended the Government of Norway for advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment globally and using its position during its presidency of the UN Security Council in January 2022 to raise awareness on threats and reprisals against women peacebuilders and human rights defenders, in addition to their strong commitment to give more space to civil society in Council discussions.
Ms. Bjørg Sandkjæ interacted with refugee women who are beneficiaries of the interventions funded by the Royal Norwegian Embassy. Jane, one of the beneficiaries under the English for Adults Program (EFA) that is implemented by UN Women’s implementing partner Refugee Law Project, narrated how her life has been transformed. “It was very hard for me to get by because access to almost every service required knowledge of the English language. At the time of joining, I couldn’t speak a single word in English. Because of EFA, I can do many things. I can read and write and speak without a need for an interpreter. At the hospital, I can talk to the doctors directly. With the skills I gained from EFA, people in my community trust me and have appointed me as the secretary of our VSLA. When I graduate, I want to enrol for a teaching course and become a teacher”