About 7,500 people are set to benefit from an economic empowerment programme that will soon be rolled out by the National government. The programme dubbed \u201cKenya Social Economic and Inclusion Project\u201d is being piloted in five counties: Murang\u2019a, Kitui, Marsabit, West Pokot and Taita Taveta. John Gichigi, head of the Social Assistance Unit under the Social Protection Department, said the Sh32 billion programme is being jointly undertaken by the World Bank and the Department For International Development (DFID). He said the initiative is the fourth component of the cash transfer programme and is largely targeting people living in abject poverty. \u201cThere are pocket areas where people are really struggling even to put a plate of food on their table, those are the people we are reaching out to,\u201d he said. Gichigi said the government has been giving monthly stipends to the elderly, orphans and people with living with disabilities through the cash transfer programme, which has an annual budget of Sh29 billion. He added that around eight million people have been benefiting directly or indirectly from the initiative. Improve livelihoods Speaking in Murang\u2019a on Tuesday, Gichigi said beneficiaries of the inclusion project will first be taken through a financial literacy programme to educate them on prudent utilisation of the money they will get. \u201cAfter the training we shall graduate them with some grants, which we expect them to use to start an income generating project to enable them to improve their livelihoods,\u201d he said. The official said the pilot programme will run for five years after which it shall be extended to other counties. \u201cIn each of the five counties we have 1,500 people under the programme and we are looking at the most desperate cases,\u201d he added. Murang\u2019a county commissioner Mohammed Baare said Gaturi, Kambirwa and Kambiti areas are among the hardest hit by poverty in Kenya.