• Travel restrictions and partial lockdowns to contain the spread of Covid-19 have dealt a devastating blow to the Kenyan economy, especially at the Coast where many depend on the tourism industry.
• Apart from the Sh4,000 monthly stipend, the WFP will distribute nutritious peanut-based paste for children and fortified flour for malnourished mothers.
Some 24,000 vulnerable families in Mombasa will each get Sh4,000 monthly stipend under a new partnership between the national government and the World Food Programme.
The cash-based support arrangement targets families in informal urban settlements that have lost income due to Covid-19.
"Once a month, each selected family will receive Sh4,000 - enough to cover half of the monthly food and nutrition needs for a family of four. The cash and additional nutrition support for women and children will be provided for three months," the WFP said on Monday in a statement.
The UN agency will also support treatment for malnutrition among 6,000 children and women in the coastal city.
In a separate deal with the Ministry of Health and Mombasa county government, the WFP will distribute nutritious peanut-based paste for children and fortified flour for malnourished mothers.
The agency says that travel restrictions and partial lockdowns to contain the spread of Covid-19 had dealt a devastating blow to the Kenyan economy especially at the Coast where many depended on informal daily employment to earn money from the tourism industry.
Most tourism facilities have been forced to either cut their workforce or close. Others are struggling to stay afloat.
“Covid-19 has caused untold suffering especially to families living in the poor urban areas who normally rely on informal day-to-day employment. Many families in the coastal region are struggling just to feed themselves,” Lauren Landis, WFP’s Kenya country director said.
Landis said WFP’s support complements other social protection programmes run by the national and county governments.
“We welcome the support from the World Food Programme. This assistance will go a long way in cushioning many families in distress following the loss of income due to the Covid-19 restrictions,” Governor Hassan Joho said.
He welcomed all interventions that that can lessen the burden on vulnerable groups "since Covid-19 is likely to be with us for quite some time".
Mombasa accounts for 12 per cent of Covid-19 cases in Kenya - the second highest after Nairobi.
Tourism was the leading source of income in the county before the pandemic.
Labour ministry's Social Protection Principal Secretary Nelson Marwa said the government acknowledges the devastating effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, especially on the urban poor and welcomed all interventions to alleviate the suffering.
- mwaniki fm