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Government To Distribute Money To Elderly, Vulnerable Families :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Government To Distribute Money To Elderly, Vulnerable Families

Government of Uganda, together with donors, is to start paying free money to the elderly and vulnerable families in 14 districts, under the Social Assistance Grants for Empowerment (SAGE) programme.

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Government of Uganda, together with donors, is to start paying free money to the elderly and vulnerable families in 14 districts, under the Social Assistance Grants for Empowerment (SAGE) programme.

The five- year programme that is funded by the British Department for International Development – DFID, Irish Aid and UNICEF, is a pilot project that will cover the districts of Nebbi, Nakapiripirit, Kyenjojo, Napak, Kiboga, Zombo, Kole, Kaberamaido, Kyegegwa and Katakwi. Other districts to benefit include Kyankwanzi, Moroto, Apac and Amudat.

The money distribution will start this month with the three districts of Kaberamaido, Kiboga and Kyenjojo and eventually roll out to the other 11 as well. 

The SAGE programme will target up to 600,000 Ugandans from the ages of 65 years and above for other parts of the country and 60 and above for the Karamoja region.

Through the Senior Citizen’s Grants and Vulnerable Family Support grants, each beneficiary will be given 22,000 shillings a month for the next five years.

On Tuesday, district leaders from five of the beneficiary districts, signed a memorandum with the Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development outlining how the programme will be implemented and explaining what the roles of the local governments are.

The labor and social development minister, Syda Bbumba, said that the money, little as it may look, will contribute towards reducing chronic poverty, improving on nutrition and access to health services by the most vulnerable in society.

Cue In: “Evidence from other countries…….”

Cue Out: “…...rolling out to all the districts

Bbumba said that Social protection is recognized all over the world as a key component of national development strategies for social transformation. She added that from studies available, no country can achieve middle income status without significant investments in the social protection systems.

She said government is working towards achieving a middle income status in the next five years.

The beneficiary districts raised concerns of loopholes in the project implementation as well as lack of capacity by the districts to carry out proper supervision, which they said may eventually lead to cases of corruption. They called for closer supervision to address the loopholes including sending money through mobile money, which they said could be prone to abuse and theft.

The project managers said such loopholes have been noted and that the risks would be minimized through frequent supervision from the center and at the Sub-county level.

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