Nearly half a million poor Kenyans are set to benefit from a Sh12 billion welfare programme meant to provide social protection to special groups.
Some 454,200 Kenyans will benefit from the transfer programme under which each beneficiary receives a Sh2,000 monthly stipend.
President Kenyatta will on Tuesday officially launch the project that has been running as a pilot programme for over two years. And on Sunday, Labour, Social Security and Services Cabinet Secretary Kazungu Kambi said Sh4 billion had been set aside for the programme this financial year.
Elderly people from well-off families and those currently on pension will not benefit.
“People should not think that this is for all the elderly people. We are targeting vulnerable people only,” Mr Kambi said.
The programme was one of the Jubilee government’s campaign pledges on poverty reduction and putting food on the table for some of Kenya’s most vulnerable citizens.
“On Tuesday, the President will launch the expanded cash transfer programme undertaken by my ministry,” Mr Kambi said. The launch ceremony will be held in Murang’a County.
Committees have been formed in various counties to manage the programme. The members include religious leaders, politicians and provincial administrators. The diversity is meant to ensure fairness.
“We want to make sure there is no misuse of even a single cent from this project. We will not tolerate any level of pilferage,” the minister said.
The programme was started in 2007 targeting only the elderly aged over 65 and expanded by June last year to cover 59,000 individuals in 210 constituencies.
Among those expected to benefit are 164,000 persons aged above 65 who are living in extreme poverty.
Some 27,200 persons with severe disabilities have also been incorporated into the programme that will also include 253,000 orphans and vulnerable children. Another 10,000 households will be put under the Urban Food Subsidy Programme.
The Sh2,000 monthly stipend is expected to help beneficiaries pay for basic needs, access medical attention and invest in small businesses.-nation.co.ke