By Frank Kamuntu
The Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development has handed over 135 motorcycles to district local governments to support the implementation of the senior citizens grant (SCG) across the country.
Happening now: Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development hands over 135 motorcycles to district local governments to support the implementation of the #SCG across the country.@ESPprogramme @upfsp pic.twitter.com/oBgbG5MCf8
— Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (@Mglsd_UG) December 8, 2020
For the past five years, the Government of Uganda has collaborated with the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) and Irish Aid to pilot an old age pension for everyone over 65 years of age – and 60 years in various regions – across fifteen of the country’s 112 districts, known as the Senior Citizens’ Grant (SCG).
The Senior Citizens Grant (SCG) is designed to reduce old age poverty by providing a minimum level of income security to older people.
As a social grant, the SCG responds to public concerns on the welfare of older persons–which reflects Ugandan values of support for the elderly. The SCGs – also known as social pensions -do not only reduce poverty among the elderly and their families but also build social cohesion and are effective at reaching other vulnerable groups, forexample persons with disabilities, orphans among others.
For the period it has been implemented in Uganda, there is evidence that the SCGs are popular among older persons, their families, communities, and they have supported many Ugandans.
Although the SCGs target older people, the grants benefit more than only the senior citizen beneficiaries. The SCGs have significant impact on development outcomes as older people tend to invest a portion of their grant money in meeting their grandchildren’s nutritional, health, education needs.
The grants also increase access to health and education services amongst older people and their families. The grants have been shown to boost rural employment both through the stimulus that the cash payments provide to the local economy and also through the employment of youth by older people to work on their land.