generally speaking as the Disability sector in Kenya got a sire of relive in the new ministry. A few take-home lessons for the new kitchen where persons with disabilities, elderly will belong.
As disability sausage media we take note of the new development where the cabinet secretary announced what this platform as always advocated for in terms of cash transfer.
The issue of food relief will now be in cash format.
This is a great move since it will offer nomads a dignified life and individuals will make choices.
Secondly it will offer the beneficiary a chance to choose the right food they would like to take.
Will Kenya adopt universal basic income for all? With this notwithstanding,
economic impact of the coronavirus exposed the gaps within Kenya’s social protection system, where only 10.4% of the population is covered in at least one area. Approximately 1 million social assistance beneficiaries received a one-off payment of 8,000 Kenyan shillings (US$74). However, approximately 2.7 million Kenyans lost their jobs through June 2021, which has hastened the demand for the establishment of an unemployment insurance fund. Overall, the effects of COVID-19 have increased the awareness of the importance of a comprehensive social protection system and has presented opportunities for progress in an already conducive political environment
The socio-economic impact of the pandemic is already felt. The unprecedented recession of 2020-2021
and an uncertain recovery are affecting African economies like Kenya and reducing the fiscal space for
governments. According to the International Monetary Fund (2021), Sub-Saharan Africa went through a
recession of -1.93% of GDP in 2020, compared with annual growth by more than 3% through 2017-
2019. A direct consequence of this will be a rise in extreme poverty, reversing the continuous trend that
had been observed for more than 20 years. Based on recent estimates, the COVID-19 crisis pushed 34
million Africans into extreme poverty in 2020 (Lanker, et al., 2020).
Furthermore, Labor markets and livelihoods also endured these impacts. Lockdown measures led to the loss of 7.7%
of working hours in Africa in 2020, the equivalent of 29 full-time jobs at 48 hours per week, and to a
loss of 9.4 % of labor income.
On the other hand, the social protection sector has seen considerable progress, with policies shifting towards universal programmes with a lifecycle approach. Spending has increased year-on-year, although there are still significant coverage gaps in numbers and types of benefits, particularly within the informal economy which forms 83.6% of the workforce (2019).
Contributory social protection is administered through the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) and the National Social Security Fund, which provide access to health care and pensions (old-age, survivors, invalidity) respectively. Coverage of social security and benefit levels remain limited and need to be addressed, despite annual increases in membership. (In 2019, NHIF has 8.5 million members; NSSF has 4.2 million).
Needless to say, we need disaggregated data since the number of Kenyans with disabilities in these schemes ar not yet known.
Critically looking at reh KBS census population its clearly that Kenyans with disabilities are lagging behind on inclusion on search programmes.
Moreover, in 2018, Kenya introduced a universal social pension for persons over the age of 70, the first such scheme in the East African region. Other targeted social assistance programs reached 1.3 million households in 2019.
The Government of Kenya is playing a proactive role in the development of social protection. The revised National Social Protection Policy and the Social Protection Investment Plan have not yet been formally adopted (as of October 2021) due to COVID-19, however they will be aligned with ILO Convention 102 and take a universal approach. Priorities include:
• Transition the NSSF from a provident fund into a full pension fund
• Introduce a universal child grant and disability benefit
• Introduce a maternity income benefit for NHIF members
• By 2022, increase government investment for social protection to 1% of GDP
• Reduce medical out-of-pocket expenses by 54% as a percentage of household expenditure by 2022.
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The views expressed here are for the author and do not represent any agency or organization.
Mugambi Paul is a public policy, diversity, inclusion and sustainability expert.
Australian Chief Minister Award winner
“Excellence of making inclusion happen”