In August 2021, the IMF Board of Governors approved1 a new $ 650-billion-dollar general allocation of Special Drawing Rights (SDR) to all member countries to help them grapple with the pandemic and fund their recovery. This followed sustained advocacy by civil society including the Initiative for Social and Economic Rights (ISER) who argued that developing countries lacked fiscal space to be able to respond to the pandemic. As an allocation, Uganda received $490 million (Ugx. Shillings 1.7 trillion) of these newly issued funds.
In this brief, we call on the Ugandan Government to make use of the country’s new SDRs to fund stronger public services for the achievement of a just and inclusive recovery. Our call to Government is that a timely decision be undertaken to channel these resources to the Ministry of Finance for public spending than rather holding the entire allocation as reserves. Specifically, these should be used to fund current public health facilities and public school needs and as well provide support to the most vulnerable.