Kenya

Situation Report

Sector Status

Multisectoral Cash / Social Protection

2.4M
HHs in need of short-term cash transfers

Needs

  • In most areas of the country, especially Nairobi and Mombasa, which have reported the highest attack rates of COVID-19, 86 per cent of Kenyans are worried about not having enough food to eat, according to a GeoPoll study.

  • Partners estimate that households in immediate need of short-term cash transfer support include 2,413,640 vulnerable households spread across the entire country; 761,165 households in the informal settlements of the major cities; as well as an additional 120,000 households already targeted under the regular cash transfer programmes but have not been included due to budgetary constraints.

  • At least 80 per cent of Kenyans are working in the informal sector, making them vulnerable to different types of shocks, particularly the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • At least 133,657 jobs in Kenya have reportedly been lost in the formal sector and potentially a similar number of even more in the informal sector due to COVID-19 economic impacts, with low income earner being the most vulnerable according to the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection.

  • At least 19 per cent of people in Nairobi informal settlements are reportedly skipping meals per day and 64 per cent skipping meals several times per week, according to a COVID-19 KAP survey done in May 2020.

  • Child poverty has a high likelihood of increasing under the current COVID-19 situation and related compounding factors that have reduced economic activities, reduced employment opportunities, caused high food and commodity prices among other extenuating factors.

Response

  • Through the joint devolution programme, 5,800 most vulnerable households, which are part of the National Safety Net Programme (NSNP) in Migori, Kajiado, Garissa, Kilifi and Kakamega counties, were supported with temporary cash top-ups of 2,000 Kenyan Shillings per household for two payment cycles.

  • Support to the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection (MLSP) to develop an Application Programming Interface (API) to the Enhanced Single Registry (ESR) to facilitate linkage with other social protection COVID-19 response interventions by non-state actors and ensure effective utilization of resources.

  • About 3,000 children released from institutions supported on their reintegration into foster families. The families will receive an integrated package of child protection services and cash transfers for four to six months.

  • At least 16,000 children and adolescents in street situations in the counties of Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu are supported with a temporary cash transfer and integrated package of services with a focus on housing, education and child protection. This is a six-month pilot which will be considered for expansion in 2021.

  • At least 5,800 most vulnerable households that are part of the National Safety Net Programme in Migori, Kajiado, Garissa, Kilifi and Kakamega counties received a temporary cash top-up of KES 2,000 per household in the month of August-preparations for the September payments are being undertaken.

  • Support to the Social Assistance Unit of the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection to carry out post-transfer monitoring and assess the adherence to the COVID-19 transmission prevention guidelines and hygiene protocols during the payments to the cash transfer programme beneficiaries.

Gaps

  • Challenges with the Single Registry data, which does not have updated data on children. This poses challenges for further analysis for horizontal expansion and causes delays in finalizing the design of interventions and hence in implementing them.

  • Stakeholders adopting a variety of approaches to meet the same objectives including different transfer values, targeting criteria, and duration which has implications for overall quality and effectiveness of the response including the potential to create conflict.

  • Increased negative social and economic circumstances (such as loss of jobs, out of pocket medical expenses) affect most of the population. This has a strong impact and constrains the targeting mechanisms for social protection interventions to cushion the most vulnerable.

  • Insufficient funding for the social protection sector to cushion a substantial number of people from the COVID-19 related shocks.

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