•The Sh2,000 top-ups per family are known to effectively alleviate poverty by allowing parents to decide what their children need most – such as food, medicine or clothes.
•The cash was available in the bank beginning Tuesday.
At least 339,151 households have received payments to support their children, who are less than two-years-old, and improve their nutrition.
The Ministry of Public Service said it has distributed Sh13 million to the families in Kitui, Kilifi, Marsabit, Turkana and West Pokot counties.
The groundbreaking programme is known as Nutrition Improvements through Cash and Health Education and was launched in April.
The cash was available in the bank beginning Tuesday.
Niche is part of the UK-funded component of the World Bank’s Kenya Social and Economic Inclusion Project.
It targets vulnerable families who already receive other cash transfers and include pregnant or breastfeeding women or children under two.
“The Niche Programme targets households with children under two years of age and pregnant or lactating mothers who are already enrolled in the Inua Jamii programme,” Public Service CS Margaret Kobia said in a statement.
The programme is being rolled out in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, National Drought Management Authority, Unicef Kenya and county governments of the five counties.
The Sh2,000 top-ups per family are known to effectively alleviate poverty by allowing parents to decide what their children need most – such as food, medicine or clothes.
“Children with malnutrition are often from families that face a range of economic and health problems,” Health CS Mutahi Kagwe said when the plan was launched in April.
“An integrated response is key to securing positive behaviour change in the long and the short term.”
In her statement yesterday, Kobia also said the government had released Sh400 million to vulnerable students under the Presidential Bursary Programme.
The Presidential Secondary School Bursary for orphans and vulnerable children is a flagship project under Vision 2030 that was started in 2013 as a complementary programme for orphans and vulnerable children cash transfer programme.
The aim of the bursary scheme is to enhance secondary school access, enrolment, attendance and completion by OVCs in Kenya.
“Disbursement of this fund is constituency-based, with all constituencies getting an equal allocation of Sh1.3 million,” she said.
In the 2021-22 financial year, 22,000 students in public boarding schools will have their fees paid to a maximum of Sh30,000 per student.
Kobia said the ministry has also released Sh8.54 billion for payment to beneficiaries enrolled in the Inua Jamii programme.
Inua Jamii programme is a government cash transfer programme that supports the most vulnerable members of the community.
It targets orphans and vulnerable children, older persons, and persons with severe disabilities.
“The funds have been credited to the accounts of 1,067,805 Inua Jamii beneficiaries with payment expected to start on January 18, 2022,” she said.
The government is making this payment through Cooperative Bank, Equity Bank, Kenya Commercial Bank, Post Bank, Kenya Women Finance Trust and National Bank.
“Beneficiaries will receive Sh8,000 being payment for the months of July, August, September and October 2021,” Kobia said.
Beneficiaries or caregivers can access all or part of this payment at any time over a six-month period.
“Therefore, beneficiaries are advised that the funds will remain in their accounts for a period of six months, hence there is no need for all of them to rush to the banks to collect the money at the same time.”
Edited by A.N