James Momanyi @jamomanyi
The more than 1.3 million Kenyans currently benefiting from the various Inua Jamii programmes have a reason to smile after the government indicated they will all be enrolled on a free National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) medical cover beginning next month.
Beneficiaries of the safety net programme will also soon start receiving cash transfer of Sh2,000 on a monthly basis, unlike the current Sh4,000 bimonthly pay.
Speaking during the opening of the ongoing 2nd Social Protection Conference, Deputy President William Ruto said the executive will work with Parliament and other stakeholders on a legislation to scale up the various social protection programmes and open up for more resources to be disbursed to the vulnerable groups.
The government currently disburses bimonthly Sh4,000 transfers to Older Persons Cash Transfer, which benefits 310,000 members and also Cash Transfer for Orphans and Vulnerable Children, that supports 365,000 beneficiaries.
Disbursement is also done to Persons with Severe Disability Cash Transfer, which helps 47,000 individuals and 89,000 people who benefit through Hunger Safety Net Programme.
By the end of this month, the more than 530,000 elderly citizens who have been recruited across the country under the new Inua Jamii 70 years and above cash transfer programme will begin to receive their money alongside the NHIF health cover.
“More than 1.3 million citizens including 365,232 orphans and vulnerable children, 310,000 elderly persons over the age of 70 and 89,992 people in the Hunger Safety Net programme and the severely disabled will be enrolled in an NHIF medical cover paid by the government,” Ruto disclosed during the conference.
He said this will be done after the additional 530,000 beneficiaries in the more than 70 years Inua Jamii programme start receiving payments at the end of this month. The DP said the government in has the last four years invested heavily in social protection programmes with a focus on improving safety net services.
He said overall the government has spent Sh66 billion on the cash transfer programmes for needy and vulnerable populations. “In the current financial year the government has allocated Sh25 billion to cash transfer programmes”.