Gov’t Rolls Out Elderly Grant to All Districts

The government will, starting Monday, March 9, roll out the social Assistance Grant for Empowerment (SAGE) to all districts across the country.

The grant, under which the elderly aged 80 and above are paid Shs25,000 stipend per month, is currently in 66 districts.

But the head of the programme, Stephen Kasaija, in a communication sent to the SAGE Secretariat on Friday, said SAGE will effectively be rolled out to the whole country, with Shs142 billion budgeted for the same.

Nevertheless, he said the payment will be in three cohorts of three months. He said they will be paying elders in different districts after a period of three months so that all districts will be catered for.

Kasaija said this month, they will add 14 new districts on the current 66 already on the programme, with more to follow.

Effective implementation of the SAGE is key in providing a benchmark for a comprehensive social protection scheme in the country. According to the World Bank, well-designed social protection programs are cost-effective, costing countries on average about 1.5% of GDP.  Uganda’s public investment in Social Protection is estimated at only 0.78% of GDP. Old age vulnerability remains a major challenge in Uganda.  Around 71% of households with an older person are either in extreme poverty or are highly vulnerable to falling into extreme poverty with even a small shock to their income.

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