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Report: Three in 10 Kenyans still live below poverty line

By Irene Githinji
Thursday, September 10th, 2020
An overview of Kibera Slums in Nairobi. Photo/PD/FILE
In summary
    • The new framework of the Social Protection sector for the period 2018-2022 is  expected to provide a tool for systematic and routine monitoring, evaluation and reporting of high level indicators of the progress and achievements.
    • By 2020, the Ministry of Labour expects to have increased proportions of Kenyans’ access to income through social assistance and social security programmes, healthcare through insurance schemes, access to livelihood for the vulnerable and more people accessing protection during shocks, emergencies and disasters.

Three in 10 Kenyans are still living below the poverty line despite the government’s social protection programmes that now reach a great proportion of the poor population.

According to a new Kenya Social Protection Sector annual report 2018/19, this implies that a large proportion of eligible households remain uncovered by any form of social protection. 

 It is against this backdrop that the Ministry of Labour has launched the Social Protection Monitoring and Evaluation framework 2018-2022 to bridge barriers and weak linkages in the sector. 

Labour Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui yesterday said that the framework will facilitate evidence based decision making in development of social protection sector policy, support coordination and inform resource allocation by stakeholders in the sector.

 It also seeks to generate data and validate the achievements of the objectives of the Kenya social protection policy.

“Implementation of this framework will bridge barriers and weak data linkages in the social protection sector by establishing stronger harmony and collaboration in reporting through the national social protection single registry system, interlinked to other stakeholder,” the CS said.

He said government endorsements agree that social protection is the best available option for uplifting the lives of the poor and vulnerable Kenyans.

Total membership

An overview of the Social Protection sector indicates that in 2018/19, 9,146,684 principal members were enrolled to National Hospital and Insurance Fund (NHIF).

This translates to a total membership of 27 million contributor’s including about 25 per cent active dependents.

“The proportion of coverage of formal and informal sector is at 4,284,310 and 4,675,040 principal members respectively.

The total members in NHIF subsidy programmes are 1,791,526 with the highest number of beneficiaries under Linda Mama Programme that had 1.08 million registered expectant mothers,” the report

Other subsidies cover 42,000 people with special disabilities, 181,000 Orphaned and Vulnerable Children and 484,026 Older Persons aged 70 and over.  

NHIF has two distinct benefit packages; national scheme benefit package (Supa Cover) for formal, informal and subsidy programme members as well as enhanced benefit package for civil and public servants, parastatals, secondary school students, national police and some private companies.

With regards to National Social Security Fund, the private pension schemes experienced a 12.36 per cent asset base growth amounting to Sh1.204 trillion from 1.072 trillion, which includes the income drawdown funds.

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