Trans Ugandans issue desperate food appeal as lockdown bites harder

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7/16/21

Transgender rights defenders in Uganda have issued a desperate appeal for food for the transgender community amid the ongoing COVID-19 countrywide lockdown. More than 524 trans persons are on the verge of starvation and failing anti retroviral drugs uptake if no food is secured within 14 days, the activists say. The transgender leaders from Initiative for Rescue Uganda (IFRUganda), Transgender Equality Uganda (TEU) and Uganda Network for the Transgender and Gender Non-Confirming Persons (UNTGNCP) said Thursday in Kampala that their members have run out of food and essential basic supplies. Uganda is under is under a 42-day lockdown announced June 6 by President Yoweri Museveni to curb an upsurge in COVID-19 infections and deaths. It includes the closure of schools and open markets, suspended church services, and some travel limits, according to Reuters. In the past, security forces and the police have been accused of arbitrary arrest and shaming LGBTIQ members during lock downs. “Anyone who can help, please help. Our members keep calling but we have no food at all,” says Williams Apako, UNTGNCP Executive Director. He says the network was able to get some small funds to get food at the beginning of the lockdown, hoping that government would provide more since people are no longer working, but no food aid has so far been given out. “At most, the little we have can only go for two weeks,” Apako says.

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