|Overview : |
United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) supports the Government of Uganda to create a functional planning and financial system for sustainable and inclusive local development. It operates within the larger UN Country Team, to support the government in the implementation of the Second National Development Plan and realize its vision of becoming a middle-income country by 2020, while achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
UNCDF’s project portfolio for Uganda includes a road rehabilitation facility that offer conditional grants for rehabilitation of district and community access roads in selected districts. The road projects improve access to local and regional markets, and social services while at the same time create employment opportunities for the locals resulting in improvement of rural livelihoods.
In Uganda, it is a requirement for road projects to conduct an environmental and social impact assessment to identify the negative and positive impacts on the environment and the social sphere as a result of the road works. The environmental and social impact assessment results inform the development of a management plan to address and/or mitigate identified risks. Projects are required to include the assessment and management of HIV and AIDS in the environmental and social impact assessments and the management plans developed thereafter.
Road projects and other infrastructure projects implemented in Uganda include HIV and AIDS in both the environmental and social impact assessments and the management plans. However, the scope and depth of assessment of HIV and AIDS are limited during the assessment phase. At worst, HIV is not included at all. This subsequently leads to services that do not adequately manage and mitigate the risks and existing burden of HIV. Most environmental and social impact assessments are conducted by environmental impact assessment professionals and sociologists, and in discussions with them, they have expressed the need to have better expertise so that the planned activities can better address social factors, including gender-based violence and HIV.
It is known that the road rehabilitation projects, like other infrastructure projects increase the risk of HIV for both the workers and the surrounding communities. The risk of HIV remains even after the completion of the said projects. The incomes earned by workers besides increasing their ability to purchase sex, attract commercial sex workers to the communities in which the works are taking place. In addition, good roads open up communities to increased economic activity and increases interaction with the outside world. The increased interaction with outsiders may bring health risks including HIV.
It is against this background that technical assistance is required to strengthen the assessment and management of HIV and AIDS in road rehabilitation projects supported by UNCDF.
The goal of this work is to contribute to the reduction of risk of HIV in infrastructure projects.