•The programme is part of the UK-funded component of the World Bank’s Kenya Social and Economic Inclusion Project.
•The funds will benefit 7,454 families under the consolidated Cash Transfer Programme and 3,400 under the Hunger Safety Net Programme.
At least 10,854 families have received payments to support their children, who are less than two-years-old to improve their nutrition.
The Ministry of Public Service said it has begun distributing Sh27 million to the families in Kitui, Kilifi, Marsabit, Turkana and West Pokot.
The groundbreaking programme known as Nutrition Improvements through Cash and Health Education was launched in April last year.
It is a government complementary intervention that combines social protection, nutrition and child protection programming.
The programme is part of the UK-funded component of the World Bank’s Kenya Social and Economic Inclusion Project.
The funds released will cover the two payment cycles of November – December last year and January and February.
The funds will benefit 7,454 families under the consolidated Cash Transfer Programme and 3,400 under the Hunger Safety Net Programme.
Under the programme, a household with one child under 24 months or a pregnant mother receives a minimum of Sh500 per month.
A household with more than one child under 24 months or more than one pregnant mother receives a maximum of Sh1,000 per month.
During this payment, each household in the hunger safety net programme will receive Sh2,000 and Sh4,000 respectively for the two cycles.
“Although there is a reduction in Covid-19 cases, beneficiaries are advised to avoid crowding at pay points and to maintain social distance,” the ministry said in a statement on Thursday.
State department for social protection PS Nelson Marwa said the residents will liaise with payment service providers, public health officers and the local administrators to ensure the Ministry of Health guidelines on the fight against Covid-19 are followed.
The programme targets vulnerable families who already receive other cash transfers and include pregnant or breastfeeding women or children under two.
The programme is being rolled out in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, National Drought Management Authority, Unicef Kenya and the five county governments.
The Sh2,000 top-ups per family will effectively alleviate poverty by allowing parents to decide what their children need most – such as food, medicine or clothes.
Already, the government has released another Sh8.5 billion as payment to more than 1.07 million Inua jamii cash transfer programme beneficiaries who are currently on the payroll.
“There is no timeline for accessing payment since this is a normal bank account. However, participants are encouraged to maintain an active account by making periodic withdrawals (within every six months) to avoid accounts falling dormant,” the statement read.
The programme participants must come from the selected geographical areas (counties, subcounties, locations, sublocations and villages and must have a permanent home and reside there for at least the next three years.
Edited by Kiilu Damaris