Nairobi, Kenya, June 15 – Prof. Njuguna Ndung’u, in his capacity as the Finance Minister, during the budget reading for the fiscal year 2023/2024, proposed a significant budget allocation of Ksh.38.2 billion for social protection and affirmative action in Kenya.
The proposed allocation aims to address the needs of vulnerable citizens and promote inclusivity in the country.
Out of the total budget allocation, Ksh.18 billion will be allocated for cash transfers to the elderly (OPCT) while Ksh.7.9 billion will cater to orphans and vulnerable children (CT-OVC).
Additionally, Ksh.1.2 billion has been designated for persons living with severe disabilities (CT-PWSD).
These specific allocations reflect the government’s commitment to supporting the most marginalized segments of society.
In line with this commitment, President William Ruto made a significant announcement during the Kenya Social Protection Conference 2023 held in Nairobi.
President Ruto declared that the government would commence the disbursement of Inua Jamii social protection funds before the salaries of public servants, starting from June 1, 2023.
This decision, which has received approval from the Cabinet and the Treasury, underscores the government’s dedication to prioritizing vulnerable citizens and fostering economic transformation from the bottom up.
President Ruto expressed his concern regarding the neglect of vulnerable citizens, emphasizing the adverse impact it has on the nation’s pursuit of economic transformation.
He stressed that it is unjust to delay support to older citizens, orphans, vulnerable children, and individuals living with extreme disabilities.
To ensure the well-being of these individuals, President Ruto highlighted the need for prompt disbursement of social protection funds.
President Ruto emphasized that caring for the vulnerable is not only a moral obligation but also a reflection of a just society.
Highlighting the current state of poverty in Kenya, President Ruto revealed that 16.1% of the population, equating to 8.9 million people, live below the poverty line.
He also drew attention to the high rate of child stunting, affecting 18.26% of Kenyan children under the age of 5 due to undernutrition, which hampers their growth and development.
President Ruto called upon relevant stakeholders and partners to join hands in supporting the government’s efforts to achieve full social protection coverage in Kenya. He expressed confidence that by concurrently pursuing rapid economic transformation and social protection, the nation can realize both goals.
The last payment for Inua Jamii beneficiaries was made in January, covering the cycles of July-August and September-October 2022.
However, recipients have yet to receive payments for the subsequent cycles, including November-December 2022, January-February 2023, March-April, and May-June 2023.
The delayed disbursement of funds has caused significant hardships for the beneficiaries who rely on these payments for their daily needs. Many vulnerable citizens, including older individuals, orphans, vulnerable children, and those living with severe disabilities, have been eagerly awaiting the financial assistance that the Inua Jamii program provides.
President William Ruto acknowledged the issue of delayed disbursements during the Kenya Social Protection Conference 2023, emphasizing that it is a matter of great concern.
He highlighted the government’s awareness of the situation, expressing his commitment to rectifying the delays and ensuring that beneficiaries receive their payments promptly.