TOP
Thursday,June 20,2019 07:37 AM
  • Home
  • News
  • Poverty falling in SAGE implementing districts in Uganda — report

Poverty falling in SAGE implementing districts in Uganda — report

By John Masaba

Added 16th February 2018 02:13 PM

According to the report, poverty rates fell from 31.1 per cent to 30.8 per cent — a drop of 0.3 per cent in SAGE implementing districts. On the other hand, national poverty figures in 2018 rose to 21.4 % from 19.7 in 2013.

Elderlypersons 703x422

According to the report, poverty rates fell from 31.1 per cent to 30.8 per cent — a drop of 0.3 per cent in SAGE implementing districts. On the other hand, national poverty figures in 2018 rose to 21.4 % from 19.7 in 2013.

Is the sh25, 000 monthly cash transfer to the elderly the magic bullet to ending poverty amongst them in Uganda?

It could well be according to a new report released recently. The report resulting from a study sponsored by UNICEF using UBOs Uganda National Household Survey 2016 data shows that Social Assistance Grants (SAGE) may be worth a closer look for policy makers looking for an end to Uganda’s skyrocketing poverty problem.

According to the report, poverty rates fell from 31.1 per cent to 30.8 per cent — a drop of 0.3 per cent in SAGE implementing districts. On the other hand, national poverty figures in 2018 rose to 21.4 % from 19.7 in 2013.

Stephen Kasaija, the head Expanding Social Protection Programme Management Unit which is implementing the project said he was not surprised by the findings.

“All anecdotal evidence we have has always pointed to the fact that SAGE is making an impact on the lives of beneficiaries and the wider communities through improving incomes, agricultural productivity, access to credit, health services, education.

We knew from earlier studies that this was beginning to translate into economic growth and development, and these findings confirm this,” he said.

Findings of the report tally with recent studies by University of Maastricht in the Netherlands, University of Manchester (UK) and the School of Social Sciences of Makerere University that showed SAGE makes a lot of impact on processes that enhance households’ ability to engage in productive activities like improving access to credit, transport and communication thereby improving access to better markets and prices.

Frederick Bwire who heads the Uganda Reach the Aged Association (URAA), an NGO, said the findings are testimony that government needs to take the SAGE project serious.     

“Before SAGE, there are many elderlies who had never touched a sh1, 000 note in more than a year in their life,” he said.

“So if you give them sh25,000, it is the best thing to happen in their lives. Some had school-going orphans stranded at home because of small things like a pen or a book but now those are back in school.  The economic, social benefits are immense,” he said.

SAGE provides monthly grants of sh25,000 to older persons aged over 65 and above. It started in 2015 as a pilot project in 15 districts but has now been spread to 47 districts.

The project is implemented through the Ministry of Gender, Labour & Social Development, with support from UK aid and Irish Aid. It currently reaches 154,000 beneficiaries.

Simon Omoding, a communication advisor at Expanding Social Protection which is dispensing the SAGE cash on behalf of government, said: “Overall SAGE households are shifting from subsistence agriculture to surplus agriculture. This means that SAGE beneficiaries are now farming for profit (income) rather than just for subsistence consumption.” 

Related Articles

More From The Author

Related articles