The national government spent 2 billion Kenya shillings to feed some 1.6 million food deficient citizens in 13 arid and semi-arid areas during last year’s drought.
The Chakula Kwa Jamii programme came as part of the government’s response to drought that was declared a national disaster.
Principal Secretary, State Department for Devolution Charles Sunkuli said that was the first time the government had implemented cash transfer as a humanitarian response need.
The PS made the remarks at a Kilifi hotel on Tuesday while opening a two days’ workshop for 13county commissioners from arid and semi-arid areas along with other stakeholders.
Sunkuli said through the system, 240, 000 households in arid and semi-arid areas benefitted from a monthly stipend of Sh3,000 and Sh2,300 each respectively. The assistance lasted for three months.
This programme was implemented by the government in partnership with World Food Programme. We thank them for the technical and financial support that they provided to the programme,” he said.
Sunkuli said cash transfer was a strategy that has been already employed by the government in other programmes like social welfare and the hunger safety net programmes.
He said Chakula kwa Jamii initiated by the government was gaining ground globally because of its highly positive socio-economic impacts.
“The mode of transfer- mobile platform used in this programme is unique in that beneficiaries are able to get their money instantly without long procedures and that targeted households are able to purchase food of their choice instantly,” he said.
Sunkuli told the participants to review the workings of the systems that were put in place, the challenges faced during its implementation and roles and lessons learnt.
He said the discussions would enable the government and other organizations to relook at the successes and failures of the programme.
Present were WFP Country Director Ms. Annalisa Conte, USAID representatives and other partner organizations.