Covid-19: EU commits Ksh8.4B to support slum dwellers

Written By: Margaret Kalekye


The European Union(EU) has provided an additional Ksh8.4billion to support governments’ efforts in the fight against coronavirus pandemic, particularly in the informal settlements.

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Kenya’s informal settlements continue to bear the brunt of the virus, with Nairobi’s Kibra leading in the number of cases.

The union together with members states is providing a broad package of health and social support measures for vulnerable Kenyans in informal settlements and across the country, through a mix of emergency response and longer-term support.

It will cushion the worst affected people in Nairobi’s urban informal settlements through cash transfers worth EUR 5million (Ksh594M) to selected vulnerable households, with a focus on women, the elderly and persons with disabilities.

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The initiatives are being implemented through Oxfam and will protect families from severe malnutrition and encourage personal hygiene and social distancing measures.

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Speaking on behalf of the EU and its Member States, EU ambassador Simon Mordue underscored the EU’s solidarity with ordinary Kenyans.

“This Team Europe support is about making sure that no Kenyans fall between the gaps; not during the COVID-19 crisis, not later. This covers a wide range of areas, including health equipment, access to health and also innovative cash transfers via Mpesa to the most vulnerable. ”

The EU itself is contributing Ksh35 billion to Kenya’s response to COVID-19 whilst EU Member States have already provided more than Ksh 3.3billion (EUR 30 million).

“The total value of the ongoing health and social security support is KES 8.44billion (EUR 72.1 million – EU 10 million, France EUR 20 million, the Netherlands 14.6 million, Denmark 14.4 million, Sweden EUR 11 million, Germany over EUR 2 million, Slovakia EUR 117 000) which will also lead to longer term benefits” the union says.

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France is financing the acquisition of equipment for hospitals to manage critical Covid-19 cases, such as respirators, reanimation equipment and medical oxygen generators, and Ksh354million from an ongoing programme to the emergency budget response.

It is also supporting sanitation activities among vulnerable communities

Germany is supporting the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) to adapt its labs to test for Covid-19. It has also provided two mobile laboratories to Kenya for virus testing and is providing training on health measures for airport staff across East Africa.

The Netherlands is supporting the tracking and reporting of cases of sexual and gender-based violence coupled with personal protective equipment for private health facilities.

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Denmark is providing Ksh354M emergency health support for vulnerable Kenyans through the World Bank.

In the counties, Slovakia is providing health and social security support to the county governments of Taita Taveta, Meru, Kilifi, Kwale, Makueni, Mombasa, Kiambu, Machakos, Kitui, whilst Denmark is providing EUR 3.1 Million for county health facilities across the country.

Netherlands, in partnership with the UN and the Kenyan government, has set up the SDG platform to facilitate public-private partnerships involving key partners to encourage investments and innovations in health care delivery which boost universal health coverage and help to address the COVID-19 crisis.

Sweden is supporting vulnerable and marginalized groups, especially children through UNICEF and WFP. The programme currently reaches 1.2 million households in Kenya.


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