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Elderly use govt cash for food

By Vision Reporter

Added 4th September 2012 11:42 AM

Most of the elderly Ugandans benefiting from the Social Assistance Grants for Empowerment (SAGE) Program spend their monthly stipend on food, a survey has shown.

Elderly use govt cash for food

Most of the elderly Ugandans benefiting from the Social Assistance Grants for Empowerment (SAGE) Program spend their monthly stipend on food, a survey has shown.

By Taddeo Bwambale

Most of the elderly Ugandans benefiting from the Social Assistance Grants for Empowerment (SAGE) Program spend their monthly stipend on food, a survey has shown.

The survey conducted by the ministry of gender in July shows that 78% of the beneficiaries spend their monthly package on food while 48% use the money to send children to school.

The Government established the monthly grant for the elderly and vulnerable families last year under the Expanding Social Protection Programme, as part of plans to fight chronic poverty.

Under the scheme, older persons who are 65 years and above (60 in Karamoja) and vulnerable households that have low labour capacity, receive UGX 24,000 per month as Direct Income Support.

The programme is being piloted in 14 districts of Apac, Kole, Amudat, Moroto, Nakapiripirit, Napak, Kiboga, Kyankwanzi, Katakwi, Kyegegwa, Kaberamaido, Kyenjojo, Nebbi and Zombo.

The five year programme targets to support 600,000 people in 95,000 households. It is intended to cushion the elderly and vulnerable households against shocks and help them live productive lives through reliable income.

According to the survey in which 415 beneficiaries from 16 sub-counties were interviewed, 56% of the respondents said they saved part of their grant for investments such as stocking small livestock, buying seed and hiring labour for farming.

 At least 6% of the beneficiaries said they spent part of their grant on alcohol. The beneficiaries also reported eating more and better food, while local producers reported growing more to meet increased demand for local foodstuffs.

Simon Omoding, the communications manager of the Expanding Social Protection Programme said the programme had so far reached out to about 31,000 people in the selected districts. At the launch, many beneficiaries were hopeful than their family meals will never be the same.

Eldery use govt cash for food

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