• Travel restrictions and partial lockdowns to contain the spread of Covid-19 in Kenya dealt a devastating blow to the economy
• Each selected family will receive Sh4,000 enough to cover half of the monthly food and nutrition needs for a family of four.
The Word Food Programme, the national government and the Mombasa County Government have launched cash transfers for 24,000 families affected by the Covid-19 lockdown in slums.
Travel restrictions and partial lockdowns to contain the spread of Covid-19 in Kenya dealt a devastating blow to the economy, particularly affecting families at the Coast who depended on informal daily employment to earn money directly or indirectly from tourism.
Mombasa County accounts for 12 per cent of the number of Covid-19 cases in Kenya, the second highest number after Nairobi.
Tourism was the leading source of income in the county before the pandemic.
As a result of rising infections, most of the tourism sector was forced to cut its workforce and many businesses either closed entirely or are struggling to stay afloat.
On September 1, the Kenyan National Bureau of Statistics estimated that as many as 1.7 million Kenyans had lost jobs across the country.
The unemployment rate doubled to 10.4 per cent compared to 5.2 per cent in March when the first cases of Covid-19 were reported.
With a contribution from Usaid's Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, WFP has launched lifesaving cash-based support in Mombasa for the 24,000 families.
“Covid-19 has caused untold suffering especially to families living in 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.
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 Government of Kenya recognises that pandemics affect a large segment of the population thus requiring immediate and timely support through various social protection interventions," Nelson Marwa Social Protection PS said.