About 86 per cent of Kenyans are worried about not having enough food to eat, especially in Nairobi and Mombasa, which are hardest hit (GeoPoll study). Labour participation rate in the country has fallen significantly from 75 per cent in 2019 to 56.8 per cent in April 2020, largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic (Kenya National Bureau of Statistics survey, May 2020). The percentage of the population n in active employment, whether informal or formal, has fallen to 65.3 per cent of men and 48.8 per cent of women.
In September, there were seven reported SGBV cases among refugees and asylum seekers in urban areas, 18 in Kakuma and 58 in Dadaab.
A few cash transfers programmes to financially cushion households in during this COVID-19 period have been piloted or expanded in terms of increased transfer value of the benefit. About 3,000 households targeted children released from care institutions to receive an integrated package of child protection services and cash transfers for six months.
A quick assessment tool was created to analyse the needs of the children leaving care institutions and the modalities of how the transfer will be provided. A horizontal expansion is currently being planned to target children returning to families after the partial closure of children institutions during the COVID-19 outbreak. About 3,000 households (approx. 16,000 individuals) households in Garissa, Kilifi, Kisumu Nairobi and Turkana are being registered and will be supported with a six-month cash transfer of 2,000 Kenyan Shillings (about US$18), aligned to the National Safety Net Programme (NSNP) transfer value and payment cycles.
The UN continues to support the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection (MLSP) to conduct several assessment studies to inform programme development in the post-COVID recovery period. These include: an assessment to demonstrate the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19 alongside an efficacy analysis of the current social protection system; an assessment of the extension of social protection coverage to workers within the informal and rural economies; and the Inua Post post-transfer monitoring. The process of engagement of a consultancy firm for the socio-economic impact analysis of COVID-19 has commence through existing contractual arrangements. The data collection process in the Inua Jamii Post-Transfer monitoring study to analyse the payment modalities and adherence to the prescribed hygiene protocols began on 30 July and continues.
Through the Joint Devolution Fund, the UN has supported the vertical expansion of the National Safety Net Programme (NSNP) in five counties (Garissa, Kajiado, Kakamega, Kilifi and Migori) to the most vulnerable households for two payment cycles. About 5,800 households received a cash top-up in August and this pool will increase to 9,734 for the September payment which is currently in process. Beneficiary households also receive nutrition counselling and sensitization messages on topics related to nutrition, adolescent and HIV-AIDS.
A horizontal expansion to households with high SAM and MAM indicators in Kilifi and Kajiado counties is ongoing.
Insufficient funding for the social protection sector to cushion a substantial number of people from the COVID-19 related shocks.
Challenges with the Single Registry data, which does not have updated data on children hindering further analysis for expansion of coverage and causes delays in finalizing the design and implementation of interventions.
Increased negative social and economic circumstances (job losses, out-of-pocket medical expenses etc.) constrains the targeting mechanisms for social protection interventions.