This group comprising the elderly and persons with disabilities has been targeted to receive weekly stipends as part of the government’s package to cushion the most vulnerable people from the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The State Department for Social Protection will commence Cash Transfer payments on Tuesday 30th June 2020 through the respective Payment Service Providers,” Inua Jamii Kenya announced through its twitter page on the night of Thursday, June 25.
While the majority of the recipients are the elderly, they may not have the technical know-how, or capacity to receive their stipends through mobile money.
In this case, The Labour and Social Protection Ministry in April, launched a number of guidelines to help smoothly disburse funds to the intended group.
The directives have been issued to coordinators at all the payment centres to ensure that the beneficiaries, especially the elderly are organised in compliance with the directive from the Ministry of Health.
“We have a system to track and to ensure that those listed to benefit from the programme get the money. Anyone trying to delay the process or attempt to take advantage of the elderly people will face the consequences,” Labour and Social Protection Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui warned.
For instance, field officers and the paying agents have been instructed to ensure that payments are staggered as a control measure to avoid overcrowding and allow social distancing.
The ministry has also encouraged that payments should be done in an open field with proper security where possible. This is aimed at facilitating efficient crowd control and proper queuing.
“The coronavirus has been seen to greatly affect the elderly (who make up a large number of Inua Jamii beneficiaries) as well as those who have other underlying medical problems,” the ministry said.
The ministry directed that older people be allowed early morning access to pay-points and should be prioritised.
The elderly have also been encouraged to entrust their designated caregivers to collect the stipend on their behalf.
While queuing at the payment centres, beneficiaries will be required to maintain 1.5 metres of social distance.
“Washing hands with clean water and soap should be compulsory for the staff of all banks and payment agencies. All staff handling cash should be provided with alcohol-based hand sanitizer to use throughout the day,” a circular by the Ministry indicated.
The ministry also directed that all biometric devices must be cleaned and sanitized after every use and that payment desks and officials should be positioned at least two meters apart.
Beneficiaries who want to be paid via M-Pesa will also get their cash through their preferred payment mode.
At the same time, some 80,000 vulnerable Kenyans who lost income sources due to COVID-19 are set to receive Ksh. 606million (€5 million) from the European Union through non-profit organisations.
EU Ambassador for Kenya Simon Mordue said the aim of the project is to improve food security covering 50% of recipients’ food needs, and other essential costs such as soap, water, rent, and mobile phone credit.
“The EU is standing with Kenya during this difficult time, providing a lifeline through cash transfers for the worst affected people in Nairobi’s urban informal settlements, including women, the elderly and persons with disabilities,” he said in a statement.