Let more benefit from Covid-19 relief funds
Only four per cent of Kenyans have received cash meant to support families mitigate effects of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a survey released yesterday.
This means a vast majority of Kenyans are yet to benefit from the cash. The study by Trends Insight for Africa (Tifa) also indicated that 10 per cent of those interviewed said they had received relief food while another 11 per cent said they had been given a mask by various government agencies and groups supporting Kenyans in the battle against Covid-19.
Wearing masks is one the personal safety measures spelt out by the Health ministry to prevent the spread of the virus which has claimed lives, disrupted family routines and grounded businesses.
The net effect is that some families especially in urban settlements can no longer sustain themselves.
In some cases, breadwinners have lost jobs, forcing their relatives to depend on the kindness and generosity of well-wishers.
As it has been argued, the pandemic is both a health and economic issue. The aim is to protect lives at all costs, especially the most vulnerable groups such as the elderly.
A substantial proportion of respondents held that the measures were helpful but the cash figures could be raised and the net broadened to reach more deserving cases.
It would be noted that President Uhuru Kenyatta has come up with an emergency kitty mobilising resources for emergency response towards containing the spread, effects, and impact of the pandemic overseen by the National Treasury.
Further, different financial institutions such as ABSA, KCB Bank, Equity and individuals have been donating millions towards fighting the virus.
County governments have also set aside funds to help communities mitigate effects of the virus.
It is, therefore, shocking that despite the huge resources dedicated to the fight, only a few Kenyans can attest to have benefited from the funds.
There are already claims that some individuals are misappropriating Covid-19 funds through exaggerated pricing and questionable tendering.
It is unthinkable that anyone would exploit a grave situation for personal gain. The use of the Covid-19 funds must be above board and be directed to the targeted beneficiaries.
That is why we are concerned by reports that only a handful of people have been able to access the cash and essential protective material such as face masks. The responsible agencies must step up their effort.