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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 
Kenya launches digital platform to boost social protection

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The Kenyan government and multilateral partners on Wednesday launched an electronic platform to enhance delivery of cash, food and medical care to the vulnerable population.

During the ceremony, Deputy President William Ruto said Kenya became the second African country after South Africa to launch an electronic portal to revolutionize social protection for disadvantaged groups like the elderly, disabled and orphaned children.

“The web portal launched today will streamline distribution of cash and other assistance for elderly persons, orphaned children and the disabled,” said Ruto.

The government has scaled up investment in social safety nets for vulnerable population to shield them from extreme poverty, hunger and disease, according to Ruto.

Ruto said that cash transfer program and free medical care for the aged launched by the government three years ago had improved household income and food security.

“Evaluations done by reputable organizations indicate that cash transfer programs have enhanced household purchasing power, increased savings and investments,” Ruto said.

He added that households that benefited from government-funded social protection schemes reported higher school enrollment, improved nutrition status and reduction in illnesses.

“Local economy becomes vibrant during disbursement of monthly stipend for the disadvantaged population while child labor has declined in households that have benefited from this assistance,” said Ruto.

Cabinet Secretary for Labour and Social Protection, Phyllis Kandie, said the launch of the electronic portal will boost transparency in the distribution of financial and medical assistance to the aged, orphaned and disabled demographic.

“The government will utilize ICT (information and communications technology) to ensure we have an efficient, fast and transparent system of disbursing monthly stipends to the vulnerable population,” said Kandie.

She revealed the government had in the last three years disbursed 800 million U.S. dollars to an estimated 900,000 households countrywide to strengthen social protection for the vulnerable population.

           

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