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Gov’t spends Sh156 billion on cash transfer for elderly

The government has spent Sh156 billion in cash transfer to the elderly citizens across the country in the last eight years.


A Director at Directorate of social assistance John Gachigi said the funds benefited 800,033 senior citizens aged 70 years and above who were registered under the Inua Jamii initiative back in 2013.

Gachigi however said the directorate requires an additional Sh7.2 billion to accommodate 402,000 unregistered senior citizens who have since attained the requisite age of 70 years and above.


Speaking in Naivasha during a media sensitization workshop, Gachigi said the Inua Jamii initiative has realized tremendous economic transformation in the lives of the beneficiaries including prolonging their lives, making them credit-worthy, giving them dignity among their communities in addition to the multiplying effect on the local economies.


He said apart from the elderly citizens, orphans and those with severe disabilities were also benefiting from the cash transfer where a total of 1.33 million beneficiaries in the three categories have so far been registered.


While citing unregistered phone numbers and lack of identification cards among some of the beneficiaries as some of the major challenges afflicting the initiative, Gachigi assured that the directorate was in constant contact with caretakers to ensure the beneficiaries access the cash.


Inua Jamii is one of the initiatives under the world Bank funded Kenya Social Economic Inclusion Project (KSEIP) which aims at strengthening social protection delivery systems in the country.


A representative of KSEIP at the social protection secretariat Stephanie Bitengo said the five year project funded to a tune of 250 million US Dollars was geared towards increasing access to social and economic inclusion interventions that the government has initiated among the vulnerable members of the Kenyan communities.


She said since its inception in 2019, KSEIP has collected data of the poor and vulnerable through the enhanced single registry for four counties of Kisumu, Taita Taveta, Makueni and vihiga counties and 18 more counties were in the pipeline.


She further said the project has rolled out new Inua Jamii payment mechanisms under the Hunger Safe-Net programme in addition to rolling out nutrition improvement cash and health education in the most affected counties of Marsabit, West Pokot, Turkana, Kitui and Kilifi where a total of 12,301 beneficiaries have been enrolled.

By Esther Mwangi

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