European Union Ambassador signed grant to transfer €5 million to assist 80,000 vulnerable Kenyans in ceremony moderated by Waihiga Mwaura

Thursday, June 11, 2020

THIS Thursday, June 11, 2020, European Union Ambassador for Kenya, Simon Mordue signed a €5 Million grant that will enable a consortium of NGOs to provide cash transfers to 80,000 vulnerable Kenyans who have lost their income sources due to COVID-19.

Grant applicants Oxfam in Kenya, The Kenyan Red Cross Society, Concern Worldwide, ACTED, IMPACT, the Centre for Rights Education and Awareness, and the Wangu Kanja Foundation attended a signing ceremony on Thursday, June 11th, 2020 also attended by the Cabinet Secretary for Labour and Social Protection, Simon Kiprono Chelugui, and moderated by renowned Kenyan journalist Waihiga Mwaura.

Almost three months after Kenya declared its first confirmed COVID-19 infection, an estimated 30% of Kenyans living in Nairobi informal settlements are experiencing severe hunger in the household according to a rapid food assessment conducted in April by the consortium. These households, dependent upon a daily wage, are likely to bear the economic burden of the pandemic. The assessment showed that only one in four households in Nairobi’s informal settlements had stable income earners. 

“The lockdown has affected me a lot because we have no money. There is no business. I used to get 100-200 per day. These days I get nothing.” said Robina Kamboka, a 60 year old taking care of four children in Kibera.

The EU grant will provide 20,000 households living in the Kibera, Korogocho, Mathare, Soweto, Majengo, Gitare, Marigo, Gatina Lunga Lunga, Kayole and Mukuru informal settlements of Nairobi with monthly cash transfers for three months, beginning in June. The cash transfer, through mobile money transfer, will complement the Ministry of Labour’s Inua Jamii programme with 11,250 households receiving KES 5,668 per month. A further 8,750 households, identified through the  Nyumba Kumi system and independently verified by the Kenya Red Cross Society will receive KES 7,668 per month, 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.

“It has helped me a lot, I even thank god for that. Because...this house, if you hadn’t sent me that money, I wouldn’t be here. I would have been chased away. But thanks to what you gave us I was able to divide it a little and pay for the house, and a debt I had nearby to pay for food.” said 47 year old Priscilla Ngilla, a mother taking care of 2 children in Kibera.

Mat Cousins, Oxfam in Kenya’s Humanitarian Director said: “Solidarity between nations and the most vulnerable in our societies is the only way Covid-19 can be defeated. By mobilizing resources quickly, the European Union has shown its commitment to working in partnership with the people of Kenya, government authorities, civil society and affected communities. This whole of society approach will save lives. Kenya has long been a leader in providing cash-based safety nets. This project builds upon the work by Oxfam and our partners in the Urban Early Warning Early Action consortium to improve food security and nutrition for households made vulnerable by COVID-19"

This Thursday, June 11, the European Union, a long-term supporter of Kenya’s food security efforts, committed €5 Million to ensure that 80,000 food insecure Kenyans in informal settlements in Nairobi will be protected for 3 months from hunger.

“The EU is standing with Kenya during this difficult time, providing a lifeline for the worst affected people in Nairobi’s urban informal settlements. To counter some of the worst effects of the crisis, selected vulnerable households, with an important focus on women, the elderly and persons with disabilities are being supported through our cash transfer programme.” said European Union Ambassador for Kenya, Simon Mordue.

The grant signing ceremony was small in keeping with Ministry of Health social distancing regulations, but featured 6 prominent NGO directors, EU Ambassador Simon Mordue, and renowned Kenyan journalist Wahiga Mwaura, who moderated the speeches and press Q&A sessions.


Notes to editors:

  1. The consortium will provide monthly cash transfers for three months to 20,000 vulnerable households in the Kibera, Korogocho, Mathare, Soweto, Majengo, Gitare, Marigo, Gatina Lunga Lunga, Kayole and Mukuru informal settlements. 
  2. 11,250 households enrolled in Inua Jamii, and receiving KES 2,000 per month, will receive a complimentary allocation of KES 5,668 per month to meet approximately 50% of the minimum expenditure basket (MEB) agreed by the Kenya Cash Working Group. 8,750 households who are not enrolled in any safety net programme will receive KES 7,668 per month or 50% of the MEB. All cash transfers will be made through mobile money transfer (MPESA).
  3. The consortium will also provide cash assistance to approximately 1,035 survivors of sexual and gender-based violence, identified by local partners, alongside SGBV prevention and response measures. Rises in SGBV are a worrying trend associated with the pandemic.
  4. Households will be selected through the Nyumba Kumi system, subject to independent verification by the Kenya Red Cross Society with additional checks carried out by the consortium partners. A transparent complaints and feedback mechanism has been set up, and rigorous monitoring of the use and the impact of the cash transfers on households and markets will be carried out regularly and shared with key stakeholders, including from the Government of Kenya, the European Union and other development partners.
  5. A pilot cash transfer to 6,016 people living in Kibera has recently been concluded providing grants worth an average of KES 5654.5 (€46.74) per household