At least 94,000 poor households will collectively receive Sh517 million under the Hunger Safety Net Programme (HSNP) starting Friday as the number of those affected by drought continues to grow.
The National Drought Management Authority (NDMA), has disbursed the funds to poor and vulnerable households in Marsabit, Wajir, Mandera and Turkana counties under the routine cash transfer segment.
The agency has also disbursed a further Sh150 million under the drought shock responsive cash transfer portfolio to an additional 55,699 households in Mandera, Marsabit and Wajir counties.
The cash disbursements under the HSNP are part of the larger Kenya Social and Economic Inclusion Project (KSEIP) implemented by the government.
“Each household under the routine segment is entitled to Ksh5,400 while those under the shock-responsive portfolio will receive Sh2,700. This will go a long way in ensuring food for the vulnerable households in these four counties, which are among the most affected by drought,” said NDMA chief executive Hared Hassan Adan.
A food security and nutrition security assessment report released in February showed these counties were among those singled as having huge populations in dire need of relief assistance.
With a fourth consecutive failed season, many residents in the arid and semi-arid counties are grappling with drought that has impacted negatively on their pastoralist livelihoods.
The number of people in need of relief assistance has increased from 3.1 million in February to 3.5 million currently.
The other cash transfers under KSEIP are Older Persons cash transfer (OPCT), Persons with Severe Disabilities (PWSD) and Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) under the overall Inua Jamii programme.
Beneficiaries will begin receiving their payments today through Equity agents and branches within their regions.
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The payment, which is for the March-April cycle has seen Mandera and Marsabit counties, with over 20,000 and 19,000 beneficiaries, receive Sh111 million and Sh107 million respectively while Wajir county with over 18,000 beneficiaries received Sh98 million.
The government has disbursed over Sh2.11 billion in cash transfers under HSNP and another Sh8.58 billion targeting the elderly, orphans and vulnerable children and People with severe Disabilities.
NDMA says currently undertaking registration of poor and vulnerable households in Isiolo, Garissa, Samburu, and Tana River counties with a view to bringing on board an additional 32,000 households under the programe.
“We intend to bring on board as many households in the arid counties since these counties are most affected by drought. HSNP cash transfers reach about 26 percent of the population in the programme counties,” he said.