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Kenya given Sh717mn by the UK to support vulnerable families amid pandemic

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The UK has announced support of £5 million (approximately Sh717 million) of UK aid to help cushion 50,000 vulnerable people and families living in the informal settlements of Nairobi and Mombasa from the negative economic impacts of COVID-19.

The support will be channelled through mobile cash transfers and will help some of the families worst affected by the pandemic meet their most pressing needs – such as paying rent, purchasing food or other basic items.

Announcing the support, the British High Commissioner to Kenya, Jane Marriott said the UK and Kenya are working together to support companies, jobs and families who need help during this difficult time.

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“In particular, the UK partnership that I am pleased to be able to announce will further help
vulnerable communities access food and other basic supplies: cash enables families to buy
what they urgently need. This support will also stimulate the wider local economy as most of
the basic items are supplied by small business owners living within their communities.”

The mobile cash transfer is part of UK’s wider support to Kenya in addressing impacts of
COVID-19 in Kenya. This will be delivered through UK aid-funded Hunger Safety Net
Programme (HSNP) which has helped deliver timely and predictable cash transfers to up to
600,000 people vulnerable households in four northern Kenya counties since 2007.

HSNP has over the years helped families cope with shocks such as drought and floods and will now temporarily support the urban poor cope with COVID-19.

The UK said it will continue to work in close partnership with the Kenyan government to tackle the spread of coronavirus, through strengthening the health system and support businesses to protect Kenyan jobs.

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