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Government disburses Sh2 billion to Inua Jamii beneficiaries

By Mercy Simiyu February 7th, 2024 2 min read

Some 207,000 recipients of the Inua Jamii program have received their December 2023 payments.

Social Protection Principal Secretary Joseph Motari confirmed the government has disbursed sh2,089,844,000 to the programme’s beneficiaries.

An extra sh5,930,000 has also been released for the Nutrition Improvement through Cash and Health Education (NICHE) complimentary programme which complements the Inua Jamii initiative.

“Approximately 100,000 individuals who have not received the funds are being given the benefit of the doubt, with the assumption that they may not possess phones,” said Mr Motari.

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“For these beneficiaries, payments will be made through their bank accounts. For the last month, they have only until the end of this month to enroll for MPESA payments. Caregivers for CTOVC and PWsD must register to ensure the continuous receipt of their Inua Jamii stipends,” he added.

Mr. Motari emphasized the importance of timely registration, highlighting that failure to enroll would result in the forfeiture of funds, with Safaricom not charging any transaction fees for the process.

“We are moving to MPESA; if they do not register, they will lose the money because we gave them time, and if they haven’t, then they don’t need it.” Contrary to expectations of challenges in remote areas like Wajir and Mandera, these regions have proven to be adept at receiving funds through MPESA despite their geographical distance,” He noted.

Additionally, Mr. Motari emphasized that the government is collaborating closely with various organizations to conduct extensive awareness campaigns. The aim is to comprehend the factors contributing to the non-participation of the 100,000 individuals who have not opted in, leading officials to delve into a thorough engagement process to gain insights into their reasons for abstaining.

“We are working closely to understand why this 100,000 who have not opted in; this is an engagement that we are having. If they don’t have phones, Safaricom is ready to provide them with SIM cards and cheap phones for this specific engagement. We want the beneficiaries to be comfortable,” he noted

Mr Motari revealed that this arrangement was a result of an agreement between President William Ruto and telecommunications firm Safaricom, ensuring that no transaction costs would be charged.

“This was an engagement we are having with them so there is no transaction cost for all transaction from all the beneficiaries,” he noted.

The Inua Jamii Senior Citizens’ Scheme is Kenya’s flagship social protection scheme.

All older persons aged 70 years and above who are not in receipt of a civil service pension are entitled to the benefit.