More than 8,000 children under three years of age are benefiting from a Sh80 million cash transfer programme being piloted in three counties.
The one year programme, dubbed Universal Child Benefit (UCB) is being piloted in the most populous sub-counties of Kisumu, Embu and Kajiado counties.
An assistant Director for Children Services in the state department of Social protection, senior citizens affairs and special programmes Peter Ombasa said the 8,265 children drawn from all households in the three counties have been receiving Sh800 per child per month, since the inception of the programme in December 2021.
Ombasa further said the programme which was being piloted by United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) in collaboration with Save the Children organization, World Food Programme and the Kenyan government is set to expire in December 2022.
While noting that every child had a constitutional right to social protection, the Director emphasized the need for improving children outcomes such as good nutrition, health and education which he said the UCB programme was guaranteeing.
He argued that children as future generation was any nation’s investment which if well taken care of, gives high returns and boosts the country’s human capital development.
While speaking during a media engagement workshop, Ombasa said the programme was designed to be shock responsive to children in vulnerable households to help increase their resilience and also offer a platform for delivery of emergency cash when needed.
The programme if well implemented across the country, he said would contribute to an inclusive economic growth by reducing the existing social inequalities and strengthening social cohesion among communities.
The pilot programme which is funded by UNICEF is expected to be handed over to the government for continuity and up scaling after its expiry this December.
By Esther Mwangi