INUA JAMII

Government has invested over Sh156 Billion through the Inua Jamii cash transfer programme

The government has spent Sh156 Billion in cash transfers to 800,033 senior citizens aged 70 years and above across the country in the last eight years.

In Summary
  • The “Inua Jamii Cash Transfer Programme” is a Government strategic intervention whose aim is to cushion the vulnerable members of society and improve their livelihood.
  • The state pays Ksh. 2, 000 per month (transferred as Sh4, 000 once every two months) to families of orphans and vulnerable children, older persons, and to people living with disabilities.
An elderly woman awaits Inua Jamii registration at the Magarini cultural centre.
An elderly woman awaits Inua Jamii registration at the Magarini cultural centre.
Image: ALPHONCE GARI

The government has spent  Sh156 Billion in cash transfers to 800,033 senior citizens aged 70 years and above across the country in the last eight years.

This year, the directorate of Social Assistance said it requires an additional Sh7.2 Billion to accommodate 402,000 unregistered senior citizens who have attained the required 70 years of age.

The “Inua Jamii Cash Transfer Programme” is a Government strategic intervention whose aim is to cushion the vulnerable members of society and improve their livelihood.

Social protection in Kenya formally began in 1965 with the establishment of the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) as a contributory scheme for workers in the formal sector.

The inaugural Cash Transfer to Orphans and Vulnerable Children Programme was unveiled in 2004 as a pilot covering 500 households in 3 districts known as Counties.

Similarly, the Cash Transfer to Older Persons was started in 2007 with the sole objective of providing regular and predictable cash transfer to vulnerable older persons in identified households countrywide.

Later, in 2008, under the National Drought Management Authority, the government introduced the Hunger Safety Net Programme in the four arid counties: Turkana, Wajir, Mandera and Marsabit.

It was aided by development partners, particularly the UK’s Department for International Development

It has a scalable system to respond to shocks and emergencies. It currently has more than 105,000 registered households.

Thereafter, the Cash Transfer to Persons with severe disabilities, commenced in 2010 with the aim of enhancing the capacities of the caregivers to improve the livelihoods of persons with severe disabilities.

In 2013, the government first embarked on a clean-up of the beneficiary list through biometric registration to remove undeserving beneficiaries and replace them with needy ones.

“The target of the programme is to streamline our delivery systems so every Kenyan who needs help can get it.

“Importantly, the Ministry of Labour, the National Drought Management Authority, the Ministry of Health, and the Council of Governors will all be involved in its administration,” President Kenyatta said.

In a bid to eliminate the exclusion and marginalization, while also increasing coverage, the Government started a universal programme focusing on all elderly persons aged above 70 in July 2017.

To ensure seamless transfer of funds to its over 1.2 million beneficiaries, the Inua Jamii Cash Transfer Programme consolidated the three categories of the vulnerable persons; Older Persons, Orphans and Vulnerable Children and Persons with Severe Disability to ensure efficiency and linked coordination.

The state pays Ksh. 2, 000 per month (transferred as Sh4, 000 once every two months) to families of orphans and vulnerable children, older persons, and to people living with disabilities.

The government also pays Ksh. 5,400 bi-monthly to households enrolled in the Hunger Safety Net Programme.

The Inua Jamii programme is managed at the national level by the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection and the Ministry of Devolution. The programme is funded by the Kenyan government, alongside partners such as the World Bank.

Kenya’s social protection history began soon after Independence when the newly independent nation’s development strategy was focused on eradicating hunger, illiteracy and disease.

 

However, the scale-up that began in 2013 has made the programme more meaningful and created structures that have ensured the most deserving cases are well taken care of. “I can only say that we have proved the critics wrong and quite dramatically,” President Kenyatta recently said.

According to the State Department of Social protection, the impact of the cash transfers in Kenya have enhanced household purchasing power and helped reduce the poverty levels notably child labour.

Safety nets have allowed households to make better investments for the future, there has been an impact on child health, with reduction in frequent illnesses of the children and other family members.

The State Department avers that there is an increase in savings and investments among the beneficiary households as a result of safety nets which has enabled the retention and transition of children in school.

Apart from reviving rural economies, there is evidence of reduction in poverty levels among the beneficiary households following an increase in food expenditure and dietary diversity.

The Inua Jamii, is one of the most benchmarked state projects. Delegations from more than 10 developing countries have visited Kenya to see how it works and how they can adapt it in their native countries.

They include Bangladesh, Indonesia, India, Lesotho, Ethiopia, Uganda, Malawi and Tanzania, among others.

“Dignity has been restored; livelihoods have been saved, and we have shown that this family called Kenya takes care of its own,” President Uhuru Kenyatta recently said while receiving an update.

“Cash transfers not only alleviate poverty by redistributing resources to the poor but also foster an individual’s dignity, the Borgen Project said in a review.

The Borgen Project combats global poverty by advocating a refocus of US political attention and funding toward programmes that improve conditions for the world’s poor.

In the last 10 years, the beneficiaries have increased from slightly more than 200,000 to 1.3 million.

All beneficiaries’ access funds through a biometric payment system and NHIF cover is also being rolled out to them.