How far is Uganda in the quest for social protection?

With a 20.3% poverty poverty count and approximately 43% of the population at a high likelihood of falling into absolute poverty/economic vulnerability (UDHS 2019/20), social protection for many remains a a salvation pillar for future sustainability.

With a pension scheme for civil servants that guarantees somewhat  financial sustainability till death, the national social security fund(NSSF ) for the private sector among other social protection mechanisms, one asks who then would fend for the elderly and Vulnerable who belong to neither classes, a question answered currently by the Social assistance grant for empowerment (SAGE ) program .

The Uganda Vision 2040 underscores the importance of social protection to address risks and vulnerabilities just as much as the NDPIII prioritizes social protection as on of the key Human capital development interventions.

Social protection is largely defined as public and private interventions to address risks and vulnerabilities that expose individuals to income insecurity and social deprivation, leading to undignified lives.

Uganda has strengthened the legal and policy framework for social protection through various legislations including: National social protection policy (2015) which provides a foundation for establishing a comprehensive social protection system for Uganda, the National social security fund act Cap 222 providing for social security benefits for employees in the private sector.

The pensions Act Cap 286 which provides for pensions, gratuities and other allowances in respect of the officers of public service under the government of Uganda.

The Supreme law the constitution which provides for the rights of all people including the poor and vulnerable, to access social services and mandates the state to care and provide for the aged – National Objectives and Directives of state Policy XVI among other laws including ratification of international treaties.

There is increasing belief that social protection constitutes investment in human infrastructure interms of guaranteeing sustainable development. Special focus now is  on penetrating the informal sector (Which is with limited or no social security cover , and systems strengthening for effective coordination , creating harmony in operations, ensuring proper beneficiary targeting and payment mechanisms.

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