Kenya to roll out a social economic inclusion program for the most vulnerable citizens

Following the success of Kenya’s Inua Jamii project, a stipends cash transfer project for the elderly, the government plans to roll out a Ksh33 billion ($329.37 million) social inclusion programme that will boost ongoing efforts to transform the socioeconomic wellbeing of Kenyans and restore the dignity of the most vulnerable in the society.

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta said the government has allocated Sh33 billion to scale the social and economic inclusion programme that is aimed at accelerating the socioeconomic transformation of the country and restoring dignity for the most vulnerable Kenyans.

“The target of the programme is to streamline our delivery systems so that every Kenyan who needs help can get it. Importantly, the Ministry of Labour, the National Drought Management Authority, the Ministry of Health, and the Council of Governors will all be involved in its administration,” President Kenyatta said.

A vulnerable adult is a person over the age of 18, who is at risk of harm or who lacks the absolute most basic human life skills. In Africa, the most vulnerable include a number of often over-lapping groups who face the greatest risks; people whose living conditions, health and circumstances or behaviours place them at risk of victimization and/or involvement in a crime. They include people living in slums, street children, youth gangs, school dropouts, unemployed youth, substance abusing youth and orphans.

Although Kenya did not define who its vulnerable are, from its Inua Jamii social safety net program that attempts to lift the living standards of the elderly by disbursing funds, the Social and Economic Inclusion Programme would most likely be for the marginalized and disadvantaged youth and children living or working on the streets/orphaned children.

The number of orphans and vulnerable children in Kenya is estimated to be over 2.8 million. About 47 percent of children are said to be orphaned as a result of HIV and AIDS and many more remain vulnerable due to several other factors.

In Kenya’s capital Nairobi, 60 percent of the population live in informal settlements squeezed into less than 6 percent of the city’s land and most plots in these settlements have neither toilet nor water connections. Surveys discovered that young children are left to take care of themselves in violence-torn communities that do not provide any support services.

Labour and Social Protection Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani has said the success of Kenya’s cash transfer program to the most vulnerable people and communities have become a case study in social welfare given that 200,000 to 1.3 million have benefited from Inua Jamii in the last six years.